Saturday, September 10, 2011

10 Years Since That Infamous Day

Where were you ten years ago? It's hard to forget where you were. After all, there are only some things that will be etched in our minds forever- depending on your age. For me, it was the day the Challenger exploded and where I was when OJ was set free. Both sad days.

However, the day I'm talking about- ten years ago- was also the day that Ed McCaffrey broke his leg on Monday Night Football. It was one of those gnarly events that rivals Joe Theismann (actually pronounced THESE MEN) or Moises Alou or Willis McGahee or even Freddie Mitchell. It was flat out gruesome and I will never forget it.

But let's get serious for a moment. We all know what really happened ten years ago. Sure I can try and gloss it over with some humor- however gross it may be, but those who don't care about it are either insensetive, unAmerican or just flat out bad people. Let me recount my perspective...

It started off like most other days. I was getting ready for work. I was dressed and ready to leave the house and my wife Nadine called upstairs in a very serious voice for me to come downstairs. The big joke to this day is that I replied with "do I have time to check my email?" She replied with silence, so I knew that it was something that couldn't wait.

So when I came downstairs, I realized the severity of my insensetive request. We got in the car and drove in near silence down Interstate 5 from Vista to La Jolla, California. Traffic was moderate. I kept looking over at her but she was staring out the window- I could see that she was crying. I tried to make light conversation but was met with more silence. We kept the radio off.

Luckily we arrived at our destination safely, but as soon as we walked in the building, we knew that this whole incident was reality. We were rushed to our safe haven to brace for the worst.

Then the emotions really hit me and I started to tear up. It was overwhelming. And within a few hours we felt like things were over. And we prayed and we knew that we would never forget.

It was at that point that I realized that the world would never be the same. Like most other sane people in this situation, we knew that our vigilance must be heightened from now on and that it would be hard to trust certain people. Call it what you want, but when you see certain "types" of people, you really need to be on your guard- call the police, inform your neighbors. My wife even asked if I would kill one of "them" if the need arose. She was halfway joking, but yeah, I just might if one of them did harm or threatened to do such harm. I have guns now and I even think there's a country song about "cleaning my gun" just to make a point.

So now a full decade has gone by. My hair is thinner. My waistline is... about the same. And yes we've gone through it again since that memorable day. But it could never be as indelibly stamped in my brain like it was ten years ago. I finally caved in and bought a cell phone, desk aquarium and Angry Bird plush doll to commemorate the ten year anniversary- we all do it differently so don't criticize...

Our Madison is now 10 today. Happy Birthday Madison! September 10, 2001. We will do our best to remember your special day each and every year and not let it be overshadowed by the realities of the world- like thunderstorm during pool parties or rained out miniature golf and water park parties.

Madison Today

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