Sunday, February 12, 2012

The National Anthem Sung at the Time of National Need

We were a nation at war.

I remember it well.

The Nightly News showed the first bombs being dropped on Baghdad. It was actually all happening live on television. No one had ever experienced that before in history.

I happened to be holding my then three-month-old infant (CM1) in my arms. In that minute that the first explosions could be seen and heard CM1 began to wail. I remember holding him close and crying myself.

Hubby, at that exact instant that the bombs were falling,  was visiting his father who was in the hospital down the block. Hubby decided he needed to be home with us. He said that the streets of New York City were so eerily quiet for so early in the evening. No one was on the streets, not a person, not a bus, not a taxi, not a car....

Whitney Houston's rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, not a few weeks from that eventful night, united a nation and reminded us who we were and the reasons why our children sometimes need to go to war.

Decades later a youngman who served in the desert of Kuwait, would become the boys' para. CM1 considers him his only friend outside of Wise old Sage. And yes, like a startling number of on-duty military service personnel and veterans, our para's oldest child, a daughter, is severely autistic.

For the country as a whole, the possibility of having  a child with an autism spectrum disorder is 1 in 110; for military personnel the number is 1 in 88.

Requiescat in Pace Whitney. May you find the peace that alluded you for so long in life.

Until next time,