Mac: 5,642 (give or take)
Mandy & Drew: 1
Yeah, that’s right. Mac (and Toto & Foose) have been securely in the backyard since yesterday mornings’ fiasco. Score!
Tomorrow morning we will wake up early and head to Kansas City for Alex’s neurology appointment. I always dread these trips, no matter the reason for the appointment. Tomorrow’s trip seems daunting because of Alex’s most recent changes and discomfort. 8+ hours in the truck, plus our time in the hospital, just seems like a terrible idea. It isn’t. I know it isn’t. It’s important and that is why we do it. For anyone wondering, we don’t expect anything other than a visit with Dr. LePichon tomorrow. We will likely go over the changes that have happened in the last 3 months, review her medications, make any medication changes and discuss our care plan for the next few months.
Yesterday was 9/11, which is a date that Americans will remember forever. I did not forget. Facebook was full of people’s comments and memories of where they were on that day 12 years ago. I remember that day quite clearly. It was my senior year of college at Arkansas Tech University and Drew and I had been married just over one year. Classes were cancelled and I spent the day with Christin while Drew was at work. It was a day unlike any other I have ever witnessed… verging on mass panic everywhere from the gas stations (that quickly ran out of gas) to the blood donation places (with lines out the door). Like I said, I remember all of that very clearly. Want to know what else I remember? Being honestly scared. Yes, I was scared for what had happened and for what I was seeing on the television, but I was also very scared for a very personal reason. Drew had been in the Army Reserves for less than two years and it seemed that things changed for us very quickly. Troops were being deployed immediately for different posts in the states and rumors were flying over massive deployments elsewhere. As of 9/11/01 I realized that perhaps Drew’s commitment to the Army was not one of once a month weekend drills, but could possibly require a much bigger sacrifice. In the months that followed, we felt a constant atmosphere of “what if.” Much changed for us in the coming year as I graduated from college and Drew and I moved back to Northwest Arkansas. I became pregnant with Alex and, as tensions continued to rise in the Middle East, we were ever aware that Drew’s deployment was very very possible. There came a point when Drew and I agreed to no longer entertain the rumors of deployment and not live in a world of “what if” anymore. (In our experience, soldiers gossip worse than a bunch of old ladies and somebody always thinks they know something that everyone else needs to know.) Our agreement was that we would only discuss real and valid information of deployment, when and if they happened. Alex was born on December 27, 2002 and we immediately poured ourselves into the care of a newborn and her unexpected medical issues. Drew went for his weekend drill when Alex was 5 weeks old and that Saturday I got the phone call that I never honestly imagined would come… he was being deployed. His unit was being activated and he had to report for duty in less than 48 hours. Many of us know the Alan Jackson song “Where were you when the world stopped turning?” about 9/11. Yes, that day was devastating and America was changed, but my own little world stopped turning on that Saturday morning as I stood in Dottie’s kitchen, holding the telephone and hearing Drew say the words that I never wanted to hear. As is common, they weren’t exactly clear about where he was going. There were lots of locations thrown around, but he ultimately landed in Kuwait and convoyed into Baghdad only days after the official and unstable start of the war. That February morning was not 9/11, but it was because of 9/11 and that is how I remember. It reminds me that 9/11 and attacks of that nature are very real. There are consequences for many. For some people, 9/11 was never much more personal than images on a television screen and more security in the airports. For our family, we are who we are today because of what happened on 9/11 and Drew’s subsequent 2 deployments. So, I will not forget. I couldn’t possibly forget. I remember the devastation that I witnessed on the television screen that day and in the days and weeks and months that followed. I remember the lives that were lost that day and the men & women who sacrificed their own lives to save others. I feel proud of how America rallied during that time. I feel grateful and absolutely remember the men & women (and their families) that continue to give for the security of our country. I hope that as you all remember 9/11 that you will remember that it wasn’t just one day. It was one day that was awful and horrifying, but the price of that day is still being paid by the families who lost loved ones, the communities impacted by the direct attacks and men & women who continue to serve so that we may be protected from another day like 9/11. I remember.