When the first plane hit the WTC, I was dropping Payne off at pre-K. I walked in our house, where Jon and his dad had stopped after hearing about the initial crash and had the tv on. We were standing in our living room, Jackson on my hip when the second plane hit.
I sat on my bed the rest of the morning, glued to the tv, unable to stop watching. Jackson was only 21 months old, young enough that I didn't worry about putting him in the other room or turning off the tv.
I went to pick up Payne at the usual time, from the lunchroom. Some parents had checked their kids out early, but I wanted things to be as normal as possible for my 5-year-old. Teachers knew the basics but wanted updates. They kept things normal for their students, our babies.
10 years later, and in some ways, my life here in small-town USA is not much different. We went to church this morning. I watched my boy play a baseball double-header. The other boy went to a 4-H meeting. Jon went fishing. The Cowboys are on Sunday night football.
And yet, it has. Flying used to be a fun adventure; now there is no thrill with long lines, undressing, and pat-downs. We have gone to war, and ultimately put a bullet in the head of Bin Laden. But someone we knew in college is dead, his 2 young sons left to grow up only hearing of their father's bravery and sacrifice instead of seeing him live out his guiding principles. So many families have empty places at their tables and in their hearts.
That day, there was so much good that could not be suppressed by the horrific evil. While people streamed to safety, those whose job it is to protect and to serve rushed in without hesitation. Calls were made, last-ditch attempts to ensure that loved ones knew they were just that - loved. And instead of sitting back and allowing evil to prevail, airline passengers took matters in their own hands.
I can only hope that we have raised our boys to see that good and to be that good. That is the best way to combat the hate, to allow the light to shine.