Friday, May 22, 2009

Tissue Alert

My sale is still going on right here. It’s a great time to pick up some cool files at an amazing price—40% off everything.

My regular weekly free file is still up. Please scroll down to the next post to grab it. Thanks in advance for your comments. I simply adore

Now for today’s post I’m going to step out on a limb and share something that is very close to my heart. It comes with a “tissue alert” as you just might need one by the time you finish reading this.

I mentioned yesterday that it is important to talk to your children about Memorial Day and what it’s all about. Today, I am going to share with you the letter I wrote to my daughter not long after 9/11. It is one that I included in her first year scrapbook. Here’s a picture from that layout too.

Dear Ilaria,

Although you will not remember your first year, there are things we don’t want you to forget. Beyond how much we love you and all the learning and growing that you have done this year, there is one event that will inexplicably affect you for the rest of your life. September 11, 2001.

On that morning, at the exact moments terrorists attacked our great country, you were safely sound asleep in your mother’s arms. At three months of age, you were blissfully unaware of the horrors going on in the world.

I, on the other hand, watched the news as events unfolded and the enormity of it all was frightfully powerful. My first thoughts—and prayers—were of all the people who died instantly and of those who were trapped in the tallest skyscrapers in the U.S.

I knew, without a doubt, this was no accident. No American pilot would ever willingly do this. Even if their plane was disabled and they couldn’t steer, they would do everything in their power to crash into the ocean, thereby minimizing the loss of precious life. No, this was the work of hateful, evil men led by Osama Bin Laden.

Then I began to worry what it would mean for our family. Would your father be called up to serve in the inevitable war to follow? For how long? As an Air Force Reservist in the Medical Service Corp, how close to the front would he be? Would he come home safely to us? How would we manage without him? How much of your precious life and all its changes would he miss?

Ultimately, I cried. I held you close and cried that the world could not be a safer place for you. Oh, how I wish and pray you could live your entire life in a world without war and hatred.

It is not that I am opposed to this war, to defending ourselves. Rather I am immensely proud of and grateful to the countless men and women, both past and present, who defend this country. These people and their families have made more sacrifices than we can be aware of—from giving up spending time together, to seeing their children be born and grow, to the ultimate sacrifice, even giving up their very lives. All so we can be free.

Unfortunately, we all too frequently take our freedoms for granted. We can go to the store and buy whatever we desire—in a myriad of sizes, colors, flavors, etc. We don’t have to stand in a ration line every week for hours on end just to get a loaf of bread, praying that they don’t run out before it’s our turn. We can read and discuss whatever we want, without fear of imprisonment. We can worship God and do so in the manner we choose. Yes, we take even the most basic of freedoms for granted.

There is a saying that freedom isn’t free. It may be a cliché but it’s true. When you were ten months old, your father did a short stint in Enduring Freedom, the war on terrorism. He helped transport wounded soldiers from Afghanistan home to the United States. On one of the flights, your father held the hand of a young Marine as he took his last breath and passed away. That man’s last thoughts were of his wife and daughter, a little girl just one month younger than you.

Her daddy will never hear her talk nor see her take her first steps. He won’t get to cheer her on as she graduates from school and he won’t be able to walk her down the aisle on her wedding day. Instead, he gave up his life so that his little girl will not be the next victim of a terrorist attack. He died so that we—complete strangers to him—could live and so that our freedom will continue to endure.

Never forget that. Never forget September 11th, all the people who died that day and those who willingly, knowingly made sacrifices for this country, for you. Thank God for them and for all your blessings.




Caroline said...

This is a beautiful letter Ileana, what a wonderful thing you have done for our daughter and your family! Cheers, caz

Anonymous said...

Very Touching Ileana!


Kelly said...

Wow, Ileana. What a beautiful letter. That is something for your daughter to treasure, and thoughts for all of us to remember. Happy Memorial Day!

Elizabeth said...

That is an amazing letter to your daughter. Thank you for sharing such a precious thing.
I do thank each and every soldier, salior, airmen and marine for everything they have given up to help keep up free.