Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Celebrating Life on September 11th

Three years ago on September 11th I was 9 months pregnant with my third child.  In the weeks leading up to her birth, I feared - and even dreaded - that I would go into labor just four days early, thereby giving her a birth date of 9/11.  As I struggled to make peace with this possibility before it could become a reality, I came to find the idea of giving birth to new life on the anniversary of such death and destruction to be a   s t r a n g e l y   b e a u t i f u l   p a r a d o x

Knowing that if I were to give birth to this child on September 11th, there would be so much that my heart needed to say, but no time or energy with which to say it, I wrote - in the days before September 11th, 2012 -  what you're about to read, AS IF she had already been born and AS THOUGH her birth date were, in fact, 9/11.

September 11th came and went that year.  And when, on September 12th, I found myself to be still pregnant...I was profoundly disappointed.  You my heart struggled to make sense of this idea - and then as I wrote the words you will read below, I realized that there could be nothing more beautiful...or powerful...than to bring forth new life on the anniversary of such hate and darkness.

Since the child that I wrote this piece about was NOT born on September 11th, 
I dedicate the following to all the children that have been born into a post-9/11 world
 and even more so, to the children that are blessed...
and cursed...
to share this date with history. 

I also dedicate this to our fellow military families, 
who serve every moment of every day,
 (and in some of those moments, quite honestly, need some help remembering 'why'.)  
I'm there, myself...too often.  

And finally, I dedicate this to all the hearts that are hurting today, 
because they lost someone they dearly loved 14 years ago.  
Yours was the greatest sacrifice of all.  

There IS a hope for our future!


Our third child was due September 15th

I had hoped that she wouldn't decide to make her arrival 4 days early - on September 11th.

September 11th is a day that hangs H E A V Y with death and sadness. It's a day for remembering life, not celebrating it. Not a day for looking forward with hopes and dreams. But a day for looking back and remembering.

Alas, as everyone knows, babies don't cooperate.


Our baby girl was born on September 11th, 2012.


We named her Lily
A lily symbolizes innocence,  purity,  and beauty.

The day that was once only a somber anniversary has become - for our family - also a beautiful celebration of life.  And although I had hoped that our sweet, new child would not share her birthday with some of the most tragic memories in our nation's history, the stark contrast of joy and sadness that this day now represents to this military family is suddenly a beautiful reminder of why we serve.  He with his uniform and me and our children with our love and support... With our willingness to go with him when we can and to allow him to go alone when he must.

'Our  W I L L I N G N E S S  
to go with him when we can
And to allow him to go  
A L O N E  
when he must'

Lily's birth on this significant day reminds us that, although the 'looking back' is invaluable, the service to our country is always forward looking.  It's for the preservation of the hopes and dreams of this newest generation. Because when you look into the eyes of a small child you know all that is within them that is beautiful, innocent, and pure deserves a life free of fear and filled with
p o s s i b i l i t i e s...

Lily's birth on September 11th reminds us that the memories will always be raw and painful but there is a hope for the future.  We can see that hope in the eyes of the smallest, most innocent among us.   And - as a military family - we serve our country with every breath we take for this great and innocent hope.

'The looking back is made complete 
in the looking forward'

Be encouraged this September 11th anniversary. And as we all experience the profound sadness that comes with watching the horrific memories on the television throughout the day, realize that the looking back is made complete in the looking forward.  A midst the ugliness, there is still a hope and a beauty in this world. And this hope and beauty is why we - and countless other military families -
S  E  R  V  E.