Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Well, here she is, our little darling on her first day of third grade. Last night when Trae and I talked, the excitement in her voice about her new school and new friends was impossible to miss. She loves her school. She loves her new friends. And she loves her teacher.

Opening day at Maple Creek Elementary saw a great celebration rally for the school being recognized as a top-performing school in the state of California. A DJ from Radio Disney was there, playing the kids' favorite songs. Mandy took Tori and said when they played the Chicken Dance, Tori fell in love with it. Trae loved the High School Musical songs.

I am so thankful today that Trae and Tori have been so resilient in the face of our recent transitions.


Have any of you seen Oliver Stone's World Trade Center? What did you think of the movie portraying the most infamous day of my lifetime?

Yesterday, Toney Stowers and I caught the early matinee showing of the movie at the new Teays Valley theater. I must say I was gripped and riveted by the emotions of the film.

The movie centers on the dramatic survival of two Port Authority police officers, John McLoughlin and William Jimeno, who were in Tower 2 when it collapsed. Trapped twenty feet beneath the rubble, they struggle to survive for some 22 hours.

As husbands and fathers, they were strengthened by the images and memories of their wives and children as they fought impossible odds to survive. They, along with two others, were the only ones rescued from the rubble of the felling of Tower 2 (the first tower to fall on that fateful day).

One of the scenes in the movie that gripped me most was when, after being pulled from the debris, McLoughlin was taken to a hospital for treatment. As the hospital personnel whealed him toward the ER, he is met by his wife. "You kept me alive," McLoughlin told her. "You kept me alive."

The bonds of family are so empowering; bonds that give us identity and purpose, strength and significance. In Psalm 68.6, the Bible says, "God sets the lonely in families." Family is God's great gift to us to strengthen and sustain us in the face of difficult circumstances.

I left the movie with a flood of emotions, but the strongest emotion of all was the realization that my girls can never again be taken for granted.

Have you told the members of your family how much they mean to you? If you haven't recently, find some time today to do it!