“I’ll be there.” This was happening for a reason. I knew that, and I honestly dreaded
the thought of such a major event taking place so far from family and friends. What
would I do about the follow-up visits? Who would supervise my weekly progress and
rehab? Ian would be pleased.
I consider this swift change in my far too hastily made plans an unearned blessing. I
was sitting with other patients in the waiting room of the surgeon in Birmingham,
Michigan, watching the CNN morning news show on a small elevated TV set in a far
corner. Without warning, the voices of the news crew elevated as cameras focused on
smoke pouring from the top floors of a World Trade Center Tower. A plane had evidently
crashed into it.
Right in front of our eyes, we watched a second plane show up and fly purposefully
into the second Tower. The words ‘terrorist attack’ caught the attention of everyone in
the waiting room and those working behind the desks. We had barely caught our breaths,
when the cameras switched to Washington, D.C. where another plane had crashed into
the Pentagon. The anchors said every flight going into and out of New York was
cancelled. Every minute after that was worse than the previous one. We were horrified.
Fear caught in our throats we all looked at each other and I realized, without saying a
word that I would have been on the freeway into the city, but for the grace of God.
Yes, it was September 11, 2001.
Ironically, Sandra and Charles were at the Los Angeles Airport waiting for their plane
to arrive from Portland, Maine, via Boston. They would be passengers on the return
flight. A loud and overly excited voice barked a message over the airport loudspeakers.
“All flights arriving from New York or departing from LAX have been cancelled until
further notice.” Word spread like a lethal virus from person to person: terrorists had
flown into New York’s World Trade Center. America was being attacked.
Like millions of others at airports throughout our nation, Sandra and Charles went
home to watch the terrifying history take place right in front of their eyes through the
marvel of television.
Even now, I have to pause as I relive the devastation caused by the Jihadists piloting
those two planes, the one leaving Philadelphia filled with citizens who would never see
their loved ones again, and the fourth one that crashed into the Pentagon that infamous
day known now at 9/11. It has forever changed the way we live our lives. Fear of another
such attack lurks in the back of our minds.
I decided to remain with my original surgeon. After the second operation, I started the
rehabilitation of my muscles and tendons once again, but this time I did it at home.
Although I was told not to expect perfect results, because it was very difficult for most
patients my age to fully recover from such complicated trauma, I remained hopeful. The
doctor was right. This time, it was more difficult to regain my former agility and my left
hand remained limb and numb. There is no denying that my emotions ran the gamut from
high to low and back again on a daily basis.
Today, I can attest to the power of prayer and faith. I not only have full use of the
hand, fingers and arm, but my handshake is stronger than it ever was. I feared I would
never play the piano again, but I enjoy easy and fluid maneuvering of my fingers up and
down the keyboard.
Yes, we can survive trials and tribulations and come out stronger, without resorting to the addiction that continues to appeal to our weaker selves.
Prayer and trusting in God to provide Divine assistance saw me through yet another of
life’s traumas. And I didn’t resume my sugar yearnings through any of these trials.
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