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Friday, September 9, 2011

My First Born

Sunday is my son Zac's 10th birthday.  He's growing up fast.  This year, though, I have watched this boy turn more into a young man.  This is a major year of growth.  There are a few things that have happened recently, suddenly, overnight.  A few nights ago, I was getting dinner on the table.  It suddenly felt odd to give this big kid the plastic kid plate he's eaten dinner on for years and years.  I shrugged and pulled out an actual full sized dinner plate for him.  A few weeks ago we were barbecuing.  It felt like we HAD to teach him about the barbecue pit and how to grill.  So, now he grills.  Tonight, at dinner, as I ordered drinks for everyone at a restaurant, I had to say, "Wait, instead of 3 child drinks, make that 2 child drinks and one regular."  The biggest sign of all, though, may be that this alien has suddenly chosen to shower without whining, bargaining, complaining, sometimes without even being asked!

Sunday will be 10 years since that tragic day in New York, Washington D.C., and Shanksville, Pennsylvania where thousands of innocent fathers, brothers, mothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, friends, servicemen....(((children))) lost their lives.  It was a day that our security of living in this invincible country was shaken, shattered.  We've never gained that feeling back, either.

Zac was due on September 3, 2001.  I was examined and told I had no progress, come back in a week.  I was big, fat, pregnant, dying from the heat, and extremely anxious to meet my first child.  We came back in a week.  Still no progress.  We were instructed to check into the hospital the next morning to be induced.

So, at 4:30 am Tuesday, September 11, 2001, we left for the hospital.  Around 6:00 am, I was examined again, and was told still no progress.  In fact, it seemed as though this baby was nowhere near the point for delivery.  My doctor decided to schedule a C-section feeling my labor could be long and possibly dangerous for both of us.  We would just wait in the room until the next available operating room.  So, that's what we did. 

All I could do was watch TV.  A little before 9:00 the channel was interrupted because a plane had hit the World Trade Center.  Shocked, I watched the horror of that burning building.  Actually, I assumed it was a smaller plane, and not a passenger plane.  I don't know why, but maybe I was more focused on the flames than the airplane.  The news media, of course, stayed with the story.  Suddenly, as a reporter stood in front of the flames, I watched a 2nd plane crash into the other tower {{{{silence}}}}}
Todd had been down the hall and came running into the room.  "Did you SEE THAT??!"  {{{Silence}}} This is when I realized the size and appearance of the planes.....passenger planes.  This is when the magnitude of the events struck me...TWO passenger planes don't hit buildings on accident.  Oh, and all of the people INSIDE the buildings!....oh, no. {{{Silence}}}}  I don't remember even reacting or saying a word.  I remember it all being surreal, trying to process what just happened, how many people may be killed...THIS will be my son's birthday.  This tragic day will be the day I will also have cause for celebration.  This was hard to process.  It already felt wrong to celebrate...anything at all.  My most joyous day of my entire life was immediately filled with sadness for these families who would lose loved ones on the same day I would welcome one.  The day went on with 2 more terrorist attacks at the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania.  Nurses and staff kept coming into my room, watching a bit of the news, then moving on to their next patient.  I was glued to the TV until I was wheeled into surgery.

Zac was born at 12:24 pm.  He had a head full of black hair and weighed 8 lbs., 12 oz.  He had been so high up that they literally had to push down on my belly to get him out via C-section.  (A hint of what motherhood would be like).  We were thrilled.  The rest of the world and all of its anguish disappeared for the time.  Family and friends galore came to see this blessing that had come on such a dark day.  I stayed in the hospital for 3 days.

I left the hospital on September 14th (as my cousin was being wheeled in to deliver her first as well).  I remember that when we got to the car, we had a flat tire.  Strange, I remember that now.  Normally, I guess that would be a story to tell as you leave the hospital with your first born, but it is a vague memory.  I was mesmerized at what had happened to Lafayette while I was in the hospital.  The town was painted red, white, and blue.  All cars had flags, stickers.  Businesses had their windows was crazy.  Everyone had been living with the circus of it all for these 3 days, and I had been ...absent.  I was absent for over a week more as I stayed home while I healed.  Again, when I left the house, the same patriotism could be seen everywhere.  What a time that was!  You almost felt an incredible bond with every American, like we had all been through this tragedy together. 

We visited the site of the Flight 93 crash in Shanksville, Pennsylvania about 6 years ago.  What a feeling you get being there.  It is nothing I can put into words.  It's very spiritual.  You just want to hit your knees and pray harder than you've ever prayed for peace to these victims and their families.  You want to ask God "WHY???"  over and over.

As I think back on that day, my feelings are like a roller coaster.  Every year, for Zac's birthday, I feel I cannot fully enjoy it until I give credit where credit is due.  This is Zac's birthday, but this is also the 10th year that loved ones and servicemen will be missed around the dinner table.  It's the 10th year that those families will celebrate the upcoming holidays without their family members.  It is the 10th year that our military risks everything to protect our freedom.  It's the 10th year that military families sacrifice their togetherness for us.  I cannot fully express my gratitude for any military who gave so much as a weekend dedicated to this cause.  I cannot even begin to express my sympathy for those families who lost someone in New York, D.C, or Pennsylvania.  Now, on to another bittersweet birthday.

Happy birthday, Zac.
This is Zac at age 4 in front of the shrine that has been
placed upon the fence in Shanksville, PA. 



1 comment:

  1. Beautiful Adrienne, absolutely beautiful! H
    Happy birthday Zac!!
    Love & kisses,
    Aunt Jackie