So, eight years ago today we all saw the towers fall wondered what the hell was happening. Eight years ago our lives changed and our sense of security became more of an illusion than the reality we were used to.
And, eight years ago, my mother began her own war of terror.
Now I must explain that my Mam (Your what? Yes, my Mam. And since I can't give you all of my little nuggets right away you will have to wait for that one.)...anyway, my Mam is very, um, task oriented. She really needs some project to work on or something to direct all of her energy. Since I had just gotten married and she had just moved my dad's dental practice in to a new building, September 11th caught her in between projects. Greaaaaat.
After most of us were able to turn off the TV, go back to work and start to keep going with everything that happened, my Mam turned her anti-terrorism campaign up a notch. She quickly set up her "Command Post" (AKA her desk in the family room) and began collecting anything Americana. Anything red, white and blue, no matter how tacky, big or small made the cut. Anything that had the White House seal on it? You bet! Um, what would come from the White House you ask? Well, being an ardent Republican, my Mam would support the troops, the president and the Axis of Evil. For her contributions, she would receive mailers from The White House thanking her for the support and asking to donate more money. And, in return send more and more letters. And she saved all of them.
Then she began getting pictures of "George and Laura", who she would refer to as naturally as if it was our old neighbors Mozan and Shuku (God love Mozan and Shuku. They used to let me come over and feed me sugar. Really, actual sugar cubes. They were the best). Anyway, we would be talking at her house and she would begin to show off her most recent pics and explain them to me.
"Oh, it is just George and Laura at Camp David"
"I got a new picture of George.....in his flight suit!!!"
"Did you know that Laura is a social smoker?"
Thus began what my brother and I refer to as my mother's boy-band crush on the president.
So anyway.....rarely a day would go by that I didn't hear about how she got up at 4am to check the BBC online to get the most recent news. Or I would hear about the new information on terrorists and that we shouldn't eat salt in restaurants because it might "actually be anthrax". Her favorite website that she would frequent (that I can't even mention because I am firmly convinced that if I do, I will be flagged by the government in some way and men with dark glasses will pull up to my house in a dark sedan and I will never he heard from again) is so out there, my brother and I often refer to it as "Hitler Had Some Good Ideas".com. Yes, it is that bad. The Husband and I told her she was not allowed to access it from our computer in fear of all the viruses we would get....or lists we would be put on.
Thankfully, in the last eight years other, um, projects have helped her refocus a little and she has toned it down a notch. She no longer tells me to "be vigilant" before I fly or has people look under her car for a bomb...you know "just in case". The days of my brother and sister-in-law sending her a Make It Yourself Garden Stone Kit (essentially cement mix and a pretty little mold to pour it in) for Christmas and wondering what all the "white powder" is on it, are gone. Although seeing her frozen expression as she opened it, saw the box, and said "Should I open it? It is all covered with powder" was all the gift I needed that year.
We can laugh about it. Now. Now we can laugh with her about it. Now. She has come a long way, baby.
Speaking of baby, my brother and sister-in-law are expecting their first baby any day now (yay!!). And, while my Mam is beyond thrilled to have a granddaughter, she did express some concern to him the other day.....well, she just said she hopes the baby isn't born on September 11th, because then "the terorists win".
Oooooh, and we were doing so well too.