They Were Five…

so little, just starting Kindergarten…their teensy-tiny siblings in preschool together. The summer had just wrapped up with last trips to the community pool. An illustrator, a designer, a nurse, and a firefighter…guess who was married to who. We were young families who connected.

We woke up to the most beautiful day. Oh my gosh the color of the sky, the blue, that blue, that haunting blue. Just a tad of red it in to make it sing, that blue. Dropping my Jacob off at elementary school was new, looking back to me a few times, those big brown eyes needing a bit of strength, some reassurance…before entering that big brick building alone. Then dropping of my Olivia at nursery school, she was all in, huge smile and sparkling eyes…not once did she ever look back. Walking down to my office, stopping for coffee and a chat with the ladies holding court at their tables, moving on to accomplish what needed to get done before putting the mom hat on again.

A phone call from a client in the city. “It is burning.”

TV on. This can not be happening. Call Greg who watches TV “with me” while I am at the office blocks away. Call Andrea, she will need to get to the hospital. Charlie will be down there fighting the fire for sure, I can pick up her kids if she wants. That’s how suburbia works, when we say “our kids” we mean every kid in the community. She says, I think I am ok, the hospital said to wait until we are called in. She was good, she was going to wait and see what was going on with Charlie.

She never heard from Charlie.

We banded together as a community. People helped as they could, but no matter what we did it was not like having a dad around. Losing a parent is difficult. Losing a really funny, snarky, and incredibly intelligent hands-on parent…well, there are no words.

Andrea is the strongest woman I know, well, besides RBG who is one step above human. Andrea never hated, ever, and she never stopped giving to others. She creates, she mothers, she educates, she is positive and kind. She is as we should be.

This is a Swoon of random thoughts.

Today is a day I am more quiet than usual. More as I should be. Today is a day I think back to memorial service planning “plan for 300-500 or so”…to all of the pranks and jokes Charlie pulled on me… to our little little kids playing in the backyard together, innocent from the permanence of what just happened…to that blue sky.

Today I try to be better. I try to follow the example of the fun and free spirited Charlie, studying to be a captain, studying for his families future…and to the steadfast, strong, creative, and giving Andrea, who would give you the shirt off her back if she thought it might help.

I try.

Published by Kat

A mom, a wife, a daughter, a friend, a graphic designer. I am flawed... but I try.

5 thoughts on “They Were Five…

  1. Without a doubt, that was the most difficult day in my career. COME AFTER ME! IF YOU HAVE A BEEF, COME AFTER ME!

    I had flown all night as part of an exercise and landed just after the first plane had hit the WTC. I was the mission commander of a strategic (read nuclear warfare) communications airplane. All of my comm gear was still on. It lit up with REAL messages. Normally, all “business-type” messages would be encrypted/decrypted from exercise books. Not that day.

    Two hours later, Air Force 1 was parked 100 yds from my airplane at Offutt AFB. When it arrived, it was escorted by two, fully armed (which you never saw in those days) F-16s. It was surreal.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for the kind words. It was certainly an honor to serve. So many heroes that day. Honestly, so many unsung heroes every day. Being a good parent. Giving it your best effort at work. All heroes.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Tom and I heard that first plane fly over, he commented, left for work and returned 30 seconds later. We both ran outside and looked up at the towers which were less than a mile from our apartment. We had a perfect view. And yes, the sky was crystal clear, that perfect sky blue. All of our neighbours came out and as we looked on, I thought, wait, what time is it? Then the second plane hit, the sheer horror and realization of it all. Tom was on the subway headed uptown to work, he had no idea the second plane had hit and I had no way of getting in touch with him.

    The next year to two years was a blur it seems. Every year we try to piece together that day and the months and years that followed and every year somehow a new memory reveals itself.

    Our city, our country, our world came together – there were lit candles, empathy, kindness, strangers acknowledging each other with a nod, a gentle smile, flags and posters of Thank Yous for our frontline heroes as they came by the truck fulls speeding down the Westside Highway to selflessly help in any way.

    9/11 was such a sad day and continues to be sad for so many.
    2020 is such a sad year and will continue to be so for so many.

    I pray we find it in our hearts to step outside of ourselves, open our eyes, find empathy and kindness toward one another.

    Thank you to all of our selfless humans for whom we are eternally grateful.

    Liked by 1 person

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