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A Son on chemo and just out of a coma - 9/11
Date: October 2019
My son was just out of a long coma --- ALL Leukemia and some form of food-born bacterial infection
I WENT FOR GROCERIES in the morning since I often am busy with his meds and other care.
I DARED! I needed to get to the office because I needed to keep all the insurance companies happy.
September 11, 2001
I was born six weeks after Pearl Harbor.
I grew up listening and seeing the newsreels from the "front".
I have seen all those black & white WWII movies.
I watched the horrors of the camps during assembly period in grade school.
I worked on hostile weapon environment simulations - with a secret clearance
and I saw the classified reports of the results of the bombs in Japan. More than you have seen.
I remember the WWII photo books my mother had.
Horror no child should have looked at.
I have read accounts of what the Germans did. Stories you have never really seen.
Shindler's List was a piece of cake to what really went on.
I have seen the face of war.
In close-up photography.
In Black & White.
I never forget.
For some very weird reason, today my TV was off.
I woke up to quiet.
I had meetings 'till 5PM, so I knew I had to go out and get some milk and eggs and orange juice.
Because I was out of bread.
I ALWAYS have AT LEAST TWO if not THREE TV sets (different ends of the house)
tuned in to the morning news (usually BNC or CNN). Or, if the news is boring, sometimes, VH1.
Not this morning. (I found ourt later that this happened to several others too.
Some hand shielded us for a bit so we could function. Because others needed us to do so.)
I did email. Routine.
I ran to the grocery store.
A light trip. $262.00.
The checker said something when I said I was a bit distracted today.
I had meant to do a light trip. Just odds and ends.
What she said did not make sense.
I went home.
Note that I was NOT listening to my radio.
I ALWAYS have the radio on. Blaring Rock and Roll or Country in my truck.
I am rushing because I need to get to work.
And I have to set my son up for the day so I can leave him for several hours.
I had left my son snoozing away when I went out to the store.
He gets weak sometimes and sleep is good.
Especially when you don't have eggs and hot sauce to wake him up with.
I stepped in the door, still unaware.
My son was yelling.
"Mom! Mom! Are you here!"
It froze my blood. A cancer patient hollering for you is not a good thing.
I dropped the groceries, kicked at the door to keep the cat in and, heart in mouth, ran to my cancer-stricken
son, uncertain of the emergency, my brain thinking who to call, where to take him, all those things I've done
Calm. Calm. Be functional.
My heart was pounding.
He is sitting up, and the World Trade Center is on fire on his TV. I see the second plane hit.
He woke up to this.
It is a measure of our capacity of protectiveness that my first thought was that he was all right.
To me, his mother, that is all that I focused on.
The rest of the depth of the horror just blew by me. Too much to take in. Shock. Disbelief. Numb.
I went and ferried in groceries. By now, FOUR TVs were blaring.
I put away perishables.
I fixed eggs and cheese and hot sauce and toast.
I made his sandwich for lunch. I checked his medications.
By now he had stomped into the family room - the 45" TV is there - planted himself on the couch
and informed me that he would be there all day.
HE WALKED TO THE FAMILY ROOM. HE WALKED!
He was that mad.
Of course, he was in a shirt and open robe and nothing else.
I will always remember that.
246 pissed-off pounds on the prowl.
(There is no modesty when your mother must hold you up in the shower after all.
And no need to give a damn under the tenor of the circumstances.)
My response was to all this was, "Nuke the bastards!" It became my chant.
Because first you want to kill something. But I had to make breakfast and lunch.
Secure that he was settled, and not happy to leave him, I felt I had to go.
He assured me he would be all right.
I drove to work, not happy to be in traffic, either. The Country station played news.
At work, we did meetings, sort-of.
We were counting heads. People were on the road. Customers were traveling.
We logged into www.CNN.com lot. We compared notes.
I checked on my other kid.
I emailed family.
I counted noses. I have relatives in New York.
All over the place.
(By midnight I had done emails and checking.)
I checked that Fabio was not in the air. (He was safe)
I checked on my broker (Morgan Stanley). (He was safe. Most of their people got out.)
I checked on RT.(Romantic Times) (They are OK. "Resilient.")
I checked on Troy.(My cover model.) (He's OK.)
I listened to every new bit of data and let it slowly sink in.
As far as it can at the moment. I went from shock (shaking like a leaf) direct to blood rage.
Women around the office volunteered to "Press the button".
I volunteered to man a firing squad.
Women can be more violent than men - that protective shield we raise.
Me and mine are safe. They'd better stay that way.
But I cannot openly grieve.
I do not let things touch me that much. Not visibly.
It will take awhile to sink in.
It's like a scene from Towering Inferno.
Or The Abyss.
Or any number of those movies we like to go watch. It is surreal.
I cannot yet absorb it on all levels.
I have a kid that requires that I stay functional 24/7.
Cancer is like that.
But I want revenge.
A dish best served cold.
They are pond scum.
They must be culled from civilization if civilization is to survive.
When I get rational again, I will see what I can do.
This will be a long, long fight.
I want a gun.
My older son suggests a 9mm.
Fine by me.
He wants one too.
He wants me to calm down first.
We call each other several times that day.
There is a need to hear each other's voice.
I get home to find my little one still pissed, still angry, still on the couch.
He fills me in on all the news. He has flipped channels and kept track.
We call his brother.
The boys need to talk to each other too.
I email family and friends.
Reach out and touch someone.
There is a need to be sure that all are safe.
And then we will deal with things tomorrow.
PS: I was nearly at the office when going under an overpass I realized - you are an idiot.
Someone on the overpass could shoot you while you were creeping along the freeway.
I went in, called my older son, discussed that I needed a gun.
Fairly soon---I went back home.
I ordered my Baby Eagle two days later. My son had me buy him his 45.
My son with cancer was not allowed access to a handgun. (Prevents suicide.)
I have a 20 gauge. He can have that.
ISS tried to change America. It did. We all got flags and guns.
My younger son died of an overdose of chemo Feb 25, 2005 - battling AML, a second type of Leukemia.
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