In memory of the Falkenberg family.
On Sep 11, 2001 I was home with my 2-year-old daughter, cheerfully going about my day, when the news began to filter through about the planes hitting the World Trade Center. After a bit, I couldn’t stand being by myself any more, so we went up to my neighbor’s house, where she was with her small kids. They had the TV news on the whole time. The news reports were confused and sometimes conflicting. They kept playing the same tragic video scenes over and over. My neighbor’s 5-year-old son understood enough to know that something horrible was happening, but it was impossible to explain.
Eventually I decided that subjecting myself and my 2-year-old to the constant barrage of news was doing neither of us any good, so we went home. I knew my other 2 kids were safe at school, but by about 2 PM I decided I just had to have them at home with me. There are times when the need to just be with your own family is overwhelming. So I was one of those foolish parents who picked their kids up at school. Not from fear, but just from my own need to have them near me.
I later found out that an entire family, my brother’s dear friends, were killed on the plane at the Pentagon that day. The parents were Leslie Whittington and Charlie Falkenberg, traveling with their children Dana and Zoe. Dana was 3 years old and Zoe was 8 years old. Leslie was a university professor going to Australia for a sabbatical, and Charlie and the children were going along for the semester. These precious girls were the same age as my children. I still weep when I think of the fear those poor girls must have felt.
That day there was a cloudless blue sky with the warm temperature of early fall. Since then, that kind of day brings me a tinge of sadness, because it reminds me of that day and the loss and fear that it has brought us.
For every perfect blue-sky cloudless fall day, I offer these words:
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 8:21)