Friday, September 21, 2001

AN OPEN LETTER (c) Connie A. Anast, with permission to share with author's name

Dear Sir,

I don't know you and you don't know me. I saw you at the restaurant on September 14, 2001. I sat in a booth a couple rows behind you.

I can't say what drew me to you. I noticed you there, in your fatigues, watching the news on the overhead TV. You were sitting alone, sipping coffee. I glanced over while I ate my dinner, watching your furrowed brow, your proud yet concerned face as the days news unfolded to a shocked nation. I watched as you took your time reading the paper, slowly eating your simple dinner, sighing deeply as you read something that touched you.

Over the past few days, terror had blanketed this nation. New York. Washington. Fear. I watched as hundreds died needlessly and felt the swelling of patriotism that arose out of those ashes. I had grown up in a patriotic household, so I certianly wasn't a stranger to pride in my country. I watched my brother, neighbors and friends join the service, even fight in Desert Storm. I am as American as they come, I suppose.

But in those moments that I knew you were there, I felt safe. While I ate my meal, I was stirred by the certain knowledge that because you were wearing that uniform, no harm would come to me that night, in that place, at that time. Because of your service to this country, sir, I will remain free. While you enjoyed your dinner alone, let me say, you were not truly alone.

You were surprised when the waitress came by to freshen up your coffee and told you that your meal had been paid for. You insisted that you hadn't paid, yet smiled when you realized that someone else had picked up your tab. It was the least I could do. Because of you, and fellow soldiers, police officers, firefighters, paramedics and nurses, I can go about my daily life with confidence that while New York may be burning, there is someone there to help. I can sleep at night knowing that someone is watching over me and my family. No one could ever thank you enough for simply doing your job because your job is never simple. You protect Freedom.

I didn't get to see you leave, but I did read the note you wrote on your tab. "Thank You, God Bless. Tom." Even in the anonimity, I felt touched by you. Even in this small town, I may never see you again. But for me, that's okay. I know, in my back of my mind, you are there, ready to fly anywhere, do anything asked of you, lay down your life if necessary, for someone you have never met. Where else can someone see pure courage, than in your eyes, and the eyes of the other Angels of our country. That is the definition of American.

God Bless You, Tom. And Thank You.

Monday, September 03, 2001

What a Weekend...

So, Sunday, Gracie, Jenn and I went shopping, bought me a new Canon color printer for my AVON business, bought her a new Armoire, and basically spent my overtime. It was fun. Then we all gathered at the Lorene's house to drink and talk, which is always an adventure, especially when little dogs puke on Toni in slow motion.

And Today was a BBQ, stay home in bed kinda day. We had a nice day together, and have Cameron (Dondra's Son) over until she and her hubby come back from their Honeymoon.

Just a little update. Love to you all...

What a week...

My father's surgery went well and he's at home now with his oxygen. That whole thing is a story in and of itself. Let's just say that I hate insurance companies and their stupid rules.

Gracie's uncle passed away, so that is where she was on Thursday while I was with my Dad. That was really hard on her. he is the first in the line of aunts and uncles to pass away, so it was a bit harder. But she is doing well.

Saturday was an adventure. Dondra got married, but the minister fell thru, so we ended up watching them exchange vows up in the mountains first thing in the morning, heading down to her place to have a champagne brunch (Gracie and I made about 20 omelettes...), they ran to a Justice of the Peace a little after noon to make it all legal, then we all ran to her son's first football game (starting Quarterback, no less), then ran to Toni and Rob's for the Fiesta De FOOD. We were done Tuckered Out!!!!