She's Two!

The blog world is full of dark messages today. And no wonder.

That was a bad day, 9/11. (I'm sorta into understatements.) I was at my friend, Betty Jean's house. I was staying with her to help her take care of her grandson. I was getting ready for work and happened to walk by the tv just when the tower's were being attacked. She was sitting on the couch, stunned. Time did stand still. It was shocking. I'll never forget what she said. "I hope it wasn't white people who did this." ?????? What the fuck? God love her. She used to say some backward things. I said, "What in the hell are you talking about?" She said, "You know... like the other guys... the unibomber and those kind of guys. It seems worse when we Americans are attacking ourselves." I said, "Betty, I know this comes as a shock, but there are lots of Americans who are not white." She giggled in her little schoolgirl way. "Oh yeah." I miss her silly self. She lost the battle to ovarian cancer the following year. It's hard for me to think of the events of that day without thinking of her.

But the most shocking thing, to me ~ the thing that made it hard to concentrate on work that day, that made it impossible to do much but stare at the computer screen ~ was the idea that people could be so intentionally destructive. (Gosh, Teri, have you ever heard of war?) I didn't see it as an attack necessarily on Americans. There were people in that building who were not Americans. And all of us came from somewhere else, except the Native Americans, right? I saw it as an attack on mankind. It was pure evil, through and through. No matter where you stand politically.

The response of the nation I can only describe as horrifying. The sudden view of any mideastern person as "the enemy." The sudden desire to give up our freedoms, right and left, in the interest of "security." We felt powerless. We felt as if SOMEONE had to do SOMETHING! So, no matter the request, we were there. Even if it comes down to traveling with just the shirt on my back (no pants or shoes) I'm ready to do it! JUST MAKE IT SO THIS WON'T HAPPEN AGAIN! What a bunch of dolts we are. As if any of that has any effect on whether or not this will happen again.

So here we are. Time marches on.

Two years ago, my granddaughter was due to be born around this date. People almost unanimously said, "Oh! I hope she's not born on 9/11!!" And I'd say, "Why?" They would normally just say, "um.... I dunno.... just seems like that would be bad!"

I said, "I think it's a good thing to have new life come to remind us that it doesn't end there." And so it was. She was born on 9/11/04. I'm pretty sure she's not the only one.

Recently, I was reading about the Biship Pine. A forest fire can sweep through thousands of trees and cause great destruction. How in the world can we replace so many trees? The seeds. As it turns out, "the tight-fisted pinecones only open in the heat of a fire." There is always a provision made for life.

So we remember the dead and celebrate the living. Can't do one without the other. Would make for a terribly imbalanced life.

So to celebrate BrynLeigh Jade at two, I'll repost the poem I wrote for her just after she was born:

Sweet light that shines from those bright eyes,
Makes heaven wish for bigger skies.
The sun could warm the darkest place,
Yet still not match that precious face.
And in her orbit, gorgeous moon,
Seeks to make a dim world swoon.
But all her efforts pale in vain
When those small sighs our hearts obtain.


Becka said...

Great post Teri. **applause**
Happy Birthday Bryn!!!

Turtle Guy said...

Birth. Now there's something to celebrate!

Miss 1999 said...

You know, you're post just reminded me, one of my best friends was born today 27 years ago. I haven't seen her in 3 years, and miss her terribly. Thanks for the post, and reminding me of Missy *Hugs*

Susiebadoozie said...

i like your poem, i don't usually like poetry much but yours is very good.

and a good post too. one of the better ones i've read in regards to yesterdays memory.

i really can't say anything else, cept maybe its funny, your friend and what she said about white people. i loved history class, and the fact, when everyone came to this land to settle it, it was a huge melting pot. from the start, so why do people think an american is white. weird. oh well.

cathouse teri said...

Well Sooz,
You're right. Thinking Americans are white is a very unintelligent stance. My friend was smart and sweet, but lacked a bit in edu-ma-cation. She had some LA street sense, but hadn't been many places that would dispel some of the wrong views you learn there. In short, she had a small world view. But her little world was bright. Her misspeakings were out of naivete rather than malice.

And thanks for the compliment. :)

Wolfe said...

Even the native Americans came from Asia a mere 5-20k years ago. We're all immigrants to this great land.

Thinking "Americans are white" isn't totally stupid. It's simply sloppy thinking, but not malicious, as you say.

Thinking Americans are ONLY white is, definitely.

And I'm sorry for your loss of your friend. Not to mention 9/11.

Good post.

cathouse teri said...

Actually, I believe if we go WAY back, we all originated at the fertile crescent. Which would make us all from the middle east? What a twist.

Maisha said...

happy belated birthday to Bryn!

i have a close friend whose daughter was born last year on 9/11...

like turtle g said,lets celebrate life then....

Melanie said...

Ok I know this post is almost a year old, but all well!!

My son was born on September 10th, 2004. I was one who said I hope he isn't born on the 11th... I agree with your point about why not celebrate new life. I just didn't want 9/11 to be the first thing someone thought of everytime his birthday was mentioned. Or the "Ohhh he's a 9/11 baby" for the rest of his life!