In February of 1999 my grandfather was diagnosed with mesothelioma. He endured one round of chemotherapy, said “enough” and went home. My sweet parents, aunts, uncles and cousins, along with a wonderful hospice organization, took care of him while he took care of business. He spent quite a bit of time those last few weeks helping my mom make sure everything was in order, that his wife, children and family were taken care of. Grandpa knew how to take care of business.
Seven years ago today our country was viciously attacked by people who hate us. They aren’t interested in trying to understand our way of life. They aren’t interested in trying to persuade us to understand their way of life. They hate America and everything it represents. This is war, and the only way to deal with it is to defend ourselves from it, to make sure that our children are safe. And if defending our country means that we go on the offensive, take the war to their turf, then we go. We take care of business.
My little girl is supposed to be in biology class at this moment. She’s next to me, on the couch, asleep. She decided last spring to sign up for Air Force JROTC this year. It’s been a tough week in JROTC class. They had the option of watching a National Geographic documentary on the events of September 11, 2001. She chose to watch most of. We’ve never hidden the truth of what happened from her. She knew people jumped to their deaths. She had seen pictures and heard stories. But studying the events in school brought them to life for her in a new and frightening way. She got up this morning and put on her uniform, all without saying a single word. She does that sometimes, gets up and goes about her business without saying anything. Her dad asked her one morning if she was ok and she said, “Just because I get up early doesn’t mean I’m a MORNING person!” Bless her little heart.
Anyway, I started asking the mommy questions, trying to get to the root of the problem.
Do you feel sick? No. I didn’t sleep good last night.
Do you have a test? No.
Is someone picking on you? No. I just want to stay home with you today.
A little tear slipped down her cheek. So, I thought, is this something relational, since she teared up when I mentioned another person?
She is missing her big brother terribly since he went to college. Last night, after she went to bed, he stopped by for a few minutes. She’d seen him at church earlier. She knew he was coming, but she just couldn’t stay awake long enough to visit with him at home later.
Are you missing your brother? Yes.
Many more tears.
OK, this is something we know, but she hasn’t been this upset about it, and hasn’t wanted to stay home from school because of it. So far, she’s enjoying high school.
Think, think, think.
Is this about September 11?
Mom, last year they didn’t even mention it at school. Not a minute of silence. Not anything. Please, can I stay home?
So, we snuggled up and took a nap. We munched on cookies and watched TV. She loves Animal Planet.
It’s chilly here today so she’s wrapped up in a quilt, snoozing on the couch.
Tomorrow she’ll go back to school, and I’ll have to answer to the school authorities as to why she stayed home today. We’ll take our little war to their turf. We won’t have a doctor’s note, we’ll have a mommy’s note that will say:
My daughter needed me, so I took care of business.