September 11, 2001 Remembrance

courtesy of

courtesy of

There are some things that happen in life that one never forgets.  For example, most who lived at the time President John F. Kennedy was assassinated can recall to this day every detail of the moment they heard the news.  The same goes for when Elvis died.  For me, two history events stand out in my mind that I will never forget.

The first event that I will always remember is when the space shuttle Challenger broke apart on January 28, 1986 and disintegrated before both before my eyes and the rest of my 7th grade class.  It was even more traumatic for our particular school because our science teacher was in the competition to go on that voyage and she was so excited to watch this ascent into space that day.  The shock of it all will never be forgotten in my mind.  It was as if life became a slow motion action the rest of the day and nothing seemed normal anymore for awhile.  We were all so sickened knowing the crew was just gone in an instant, just at the snap of a finger.  It was so hard to fathom such a thing, especially as a 7th grader.

The other event that stands out in my mind were the events that occurred on September 11, 2001.  At the time, I worked at Cigna Healthcare and I was getting ready for work and also waiting on my paramedic friend to come give me my allergy shot.  I had put on one earring when the first plane hit.  I never did put on my second earring that day, I just forgot about it.  I even remember the earring was green that I was wearing and I had on an emerald green shirt.  After the first plane hit, my friend arrived and I showed him on TV what was going on and we were about to walk out of the room thinking it was just a crazy accident, but then we overheard the broadcaster say that a second plane just hit.  We quickly went back into my parents’ living room and stood there in disbelieve as they replayed the video of the second plane hitting.  This is when it hit us both that this was no accident.  We were both in shock.  My sister then called me and she was nearly hysterical. She had a friend whose office was near one of the towers and she and her husband had recently visited there and even gotten their picture taken at the top of one of the towers as so many Americans have done through the years as part of the wonderful New York experience of touring that great city.  She kept saying she was just standing there weeks earlier and she wondered if her friend was okay.  After talking to her, it REALLY hit me how serious this was because now I pictured what I saw on TV with a person my sister knows being involved in the chaos of the smoke filling the streets as people ran in every direction trying to get away from the hideous monstrous cloud following them.

I went to work that day for my 10 hour shift as a customer service representative at an insurance company. It was the strangest day, the phones did not ring all day whereas normally they rang nonstop.  We all sat there with tiny radios at the desks to keep up with the latest happenings.  My muslim co-worker never returned to work after that day because of the danger of her driving to work by herself according to what our boss explained to us.  I think her husband had tried to take her to work, but that did not even work out.  She wore a headdress and it was very obvious she was muslim, so because of the events of the terrorists, she had become a victim of the hatred and outrage that was felt toward the terrorists as she went out in public. Incidentally, she was actually one of the nicest women I have ever met.  I realized there was a difference in terrorists and my coworker and I felt sad that she was not even able to go out in public anymore.  The terrorists needed to pay, not a customer service representative at my workplace.

Our day seemed to float by, as if we were living in a dream.  The news of the pentagon came over the radios and we were once again shocked by what was going on. We also heard the news of Flight 93 that crash landed in Pennsylvania and wondered if the news would ever calm down.  We barely spoke to each other that day, the entire call center was quieter than I had ever heard it.  It was as if we were all in a day of silence as opposed to a moment of silence for all who were being found and for the hope that survivors would come out of the tragedies.  I may have taken two calls the entire day.  This was an indication the entire nation, and all businesses, were being affected the same way our place of business was reacting.  We simply were stopped in our tracks that day from the shock and horror of the attack on American soil.

As the death tolls started coming in, the fear started building and speculation as to when and where another attack might occur.  Another concern was making sure the President responded swiftly and powerfully to bring the terrorists down.

As the days passed and the stories unfolded, many miracles were told and it was obvious God was present on that scene.  He was at work in the midst of the chaos and a special happening occurred through the tragedy, a very diverse nation came together as one, for justice.  The volunteers from all over the nation showed up on site to help with rescue and any help needed.  I was, and am, so proud of being an American as I saw the documentaries that were quickly put together to tell the personal stories of each of the almost 3,000 people who died that day, or later, as a result of the disaster and of the firefighters and policemen who also risked, and in some cases gave up, their lives for others that day.

As a proud American, I will never forget what happened that day.  I will never forget the wonderful volunteers that showed up in New York for weeks and months later.  The stories of courage from those on Flight 93 are enough to bring tears to the eyes even today.  I will never forget the malice behind the attacks and I am not sure if everyone involved have actually been brought to justice at this point for I feel this had to be planned on a large scale to have been coordinated so precisely and to have been so successful.

I am proud of our military, all branches, for how they selflessly serve our country daily.  Whether they believe in a cause or not, they do believe in America and that is the common denominator that holds this country together.  I am so thankful for the many people who protect and serve to make sure our soil is as safe as it is every day.  I can not even express how grateful I feel toward military families.

I pray God’s protection over our beautiful country and for God’s blessings and protection on this nation and for all the survivors as well as the families of the victims of that day.  I pray His guiding hand on our military branches no matter their mission that God’s Will be done above all else.  The nation was founded on “In God We Trust” so it would be nice if we do that every day.  Trusting in God will remove fear and help us to rely on God’s strength to face the enemy against our nation.

May we NEVER FORGET September 11, 2001.

Little Tidbits of Teresa’s Life

Little Things That Make Life Sweet…

As I was writing my blog entry yesterday, I did not realize that the PERFECT poem by Estelle Waite Hoover was on my calendar just waiting for me to read it and to feel blessed all over again. Lately, the LITTLE THINGS, do not seem so little to me. The little things feel pretty important and are big things in my life, the things I most look forward to…

Little tidbits of my life,


Life lesson with my Peace Lily

Posted April 2008

Peace Lily Blessing…

This peace lily may not look like anything to brag about, but I was SO BLESSED by it. A little over two years ago I had to have a total hysterectomy. My wonderful friend Sheila brought me a little peace lily. It fit in a drinking cup, that is how small it was. I have never had many house plants, but I really wanted to treat this lily with care and watch it grow.

After about a year, my peace lily was big enough to re-pot. I re-potted it and placed it back on my mantle where it was out of reach of the cats. It was really beautiful, but NEVER bloomed! I could not understand it. I had done all I thought I was supposed to do. It had indirect sunlight, so I had thought that might help it to bloom. I will mention here that I also have a table runner stretched across my mantle…My 15 lb cat “Buster” became fixated on this plant and COULD NOT get it off his mind. He just HAD to reach it. Well it took him a few months, but he is a VERY smart cat. One day I heard a horrible noise and saw Buster flying through the house to hide. OF COURSE, he had figured out a way to get onto the mantle AND he, with his 15 lb of momentum, slid on the table runner and knocked down almost everything that was on the mantle, including my PEACE LILY!!!

Through tearful eyes and a broken heart, I repotted the peace lily FOR A SECOND TIME, cleaned up all the dirt and continued trying to baby the plant. When I get upset, Buster also gets upset…he NEVER tried to get on the mantle again. For the next year, my peace lily got bigger, but still WOULD NOT BLOOM! WELL I was at my friend’s house one day and I noticed she had a peace lily on the floor, beautiful…her cats never bothered it. She told me they do not seem to like it and so for the first time, I considered displaying my plants in a more pleasant way.

I bought a Rod-iron baker’s rack that fits in a corner and displayed my plants in my kitchen/dining room. I realized the lily was too big for the rack, so I put a rod-iron plant stand beside the baker’s rack and used it to display my peace lily. I figured it would be high enough that the cats would not notice…

THEY NOTICED!!! Before I could stop them, all three cats were attacking the leaves because the leaves were bouncy, kinda’ like Tigger. The cats had mowed down half my plant before I could get them away from it. They did not eat the leaves. They spit them out. Evidently it was bitter. SO now my BEAUTIFUL peace lily was RUINED. Leaves were spread across the floor.

Seeing my plant destroyed hurt me much worse than it normally should. I think it is because I related it to my own healing process of getting over the fact that I had to have a hysterectomy. I was in Walmart a week or so later, around Easter time…and saw a HUGE peace lily for ONLY $10!!! It just made me sick all pretty and blooming! I DID NOT BUY IT.

When I got home from Walmart, I walked over to my pitiful looking plant and I was debating just throwing it out. I was SO upset. BUT all of a sudden, I noticed something WHITE coming up from one of the broken stems! I was SO SHOCKED…I checked it EVERY day. Within a few weeks, it opened up and was a BEAUTIFUL BLOOM!!! So there was my pitiful broken plant with such a magnificent “PERFECT” bloom.

I will not lie to you, it made me cry. This bloom was focusing on the light coming from the sliding door. I thought about how amazing God is. HE knew I needed this special blessing. He supplies all our needs. He treats us even better than our earthly parents! He understands the self-pity, but He also expects our grieving to only be for a season. We have to stay focused. We MUST keep our eyes on HIM. HE knows when the time is right. He has prepared me for a new turning point. I have entered a new season of my life, one where I will claim VICTORY through Christ Jesus. I am on the WINNING SIDE!

Just like gold that has been tried by fire and the impurities are taken away…This beautiful bloom was raised up out of the broken leaves and came forth shiny and new. That is when I realized that this bloom is just like me! I am ready for the next phase of my life and look forward to serving God and witnessing all God has in store for me to do for Him!

Incidently, the cats have not touched the peace lily since that attack!

little Tidbits of my Life!