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Saturday, September 10, 2011

My Personal 9/11

Have you ever had a day when everything was going just perfect? You wake up in a good mood, your plans for the day feel relaxed and you have time to sit down and enjoy your coffee without spilling it on the way out to warm up the car. The sun is shining and even though it's early it's not too cool? I remember a day like this about 10 years ago. It was a day when my wife and I could wake up and go to work without a care in the world. Everything was so much at peace that morning of September 11th, until I heard the phone ringing. It was my mom calling in tears asking if I had the tv on. I had no idea that this would be the biggest tragedy I had ever experienced as I watched the horror of the twin towers in flames, people screaming and jumping from buildings and finally the collapse and the smoke and the news of the other planes crashing elsewhere. The memories still seem so close and the entire country feels the pain still today on the 10th anniversary of our nations greatest attack within our own borders.

While the events of 9-11 cannot be compared, there are many feelings that have reappeared over the last ten years. Only a month after this happened my wife and I went out of town for the weekend to my parents house in Washington. On Sunday morning my wife got a phone call and was struck with emotion as she received the message that our apartment had caught fire starting in our unit. We would find out later that no one was hurt but a lot of property was damaged and we were liable. We tried to fight it but the evidence was too strong and we cut a deal to pay $12,000 in damages. We could only bear the burden and turn to God for comfort. It was quite the blow after 9-11, this time very personal.

The next spring I lost funding for my job and had to take something at minimum wage until I started working at the RV factory. My wife also lost her job and our brand new car payments seemed to big even though it was the only debt we had. My car also died and I had to drive 45 miles a day to work.

These personal upsets would not compare to what would happen the in these last few years. My wife's grandpa passed away after a stroke, her other grandpa would lose his leg, my grandma passed away, two of my aunts had cancer, my mom was diagnosed with  Parkinson's, and to top the list of tragedies my 7 year old nephew Conner would finish his life long battle to cystic fibrosis. These were all the beginning of what I hoped would be the end of a very long and difficult ten years. I tried to convince myself that this curse was over and we would not see anything like it for a long time.

I surprised my wife on her birthday this year by going to a concert of a favorite American Idol contestant, Danny Gokey, and we went out together on June 30th for our anniversary not knowing this would be a little break in our lives until the very next day that our own son was diagnosed with leukemia.

While I have experienced such pain and suffering from my personal 9-11, I know these things are a world away from what so many are experiencing with their kids and cancer. At this moment a little girl is preparing for her angel wings. A little boy who went ahead of her yesterday, is free of cancer and suffering, but his family is reeling from his passing only four months after his diagnosis . A teenager is leaving videos of herself singing on You Tube because her time is short. A grandma  is taking her grandchild in for surgery because the parents have to work to keep their insurance. There are So Many in need today because they are having a personal attack from this terrorist we call cancer. There is No Cure, but there Is a way to get closer to finding one.

On this September 11th, the same month that is Children's Cancer Awareness month, I want to pledge to myself and those reading, that I will fight the terrorism that comes to the families of these children. I will promote awareness, raise money for expenses and I will be a part of the community that Will find the cure to end cancer once and for all.

As September 11th approaches and we remember all those lost on that day, let's not forget that we all fight for our freedoms, but we do not fight alone. There will be many battles and we cannot fight them all, but we will fight for the ones closest to home and we will win if we do not give up. Our kids are our future and we must fight for them first and foremost. Let's begin with the end of childhood cancer.

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