Sunday, February 21, 2016

Vera Cat

Once upon a time there was a cat named Vera.

Vera was a playful cat. She loved to chase balls of yarn across her house. She loved to run outside in the tall grass. She loved to watch her mother cook her tuna fish.

Vera cat had two kitten brothers who loved her very much. They liked almost all the same things that Vera cat liked.

But sometimes Vera cat was sad. She was sad because she did not have many cat friends. Most everyone, that Vera cat knew, was a dog or a puppy.

Even her mommy was a dog.

Most of the dogs were nice to Vera, even though she was very different from a dog.

Vera did not like the loud way the dogs talked and played. She took her kitten paws and covered her kitten ears.

Vera did not always understand the dogs' fast barking. She would meow and the dogs would reply "Silly Vera! That is not how dogs talk!"

Vera did not understand why the dogs were always so close to each other. Vera cat liked to sit alone in her cozy room and look out her big window. The dogs liked to be around each other all of the time!

Vera's mommy dog loved her very much. Sometimes her mommy would hug her too tightly and Vera cat would wiggle away. Sometimes her mommy did not understand why she wanted to be left alone all of the time.

Vera did not want to see her mommy dog sad. So Vera cat learned to bark like a dog. Vera cat learned to play like a dog. Vera cat learned to hug like a dog.

Her mommy dog was very happy, because she always wanted to talk to Vera cat, play with Vera cat and hug Vera cat.

Vera cat was happy about those things too.

But each night Vera cat would sit alone in her cozy room and look out her big window and she would be happy that she was still a cat.

Vera cat did not know it, but every night her mommy dog would watch her sit alone in her cozy room and look out her big window, and she was very happy that she had a cat just like Vera.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


(Emery on September 11, 2009...his first day of preschool)

September 11, 2001.

I began work that morning at 7:30. I was a nursing assistant in an alzheimers home.

We rushed from our breakfast tables to the single television on the unit; Just as we turned it on, the second plane hit.

The residents of the home, all members of the greatest generation, heard talk of an attack on America. Some thought it was actually December 7th, 1941. Others thought it was a documentary and began to lecture the young staff about war and sacrifice.

For a moment it was December and September at the same time. 1941 and 2001. Two generations, reacting to the greatest tragedy of their lifetime.

The other girl I worked with was also 18. We were both freshly out of high school - working our first real summer jobs.

We had lived, up to that moment, never thinking about an attack on our shores. We had the luxury of feeling safe in our homes, schools, cities.

It was a somber feeling to sit next to those who fought, many decades before, to protect the freedom that we so naturally took for granted. It has become a defining moment for me, in the transition from childhood to adulthood.

One month later I married. An American flag hung behind the
alter - a reminder that ,even at such a joyous event, our people were in mourning.

10 years later I am raising 3 children.

3 children who will never fully understand the events of that day. The great weight and loss felt by an entire nation. The great love and pride that felt universal among her people.

I sat with them the day bin Laden was killed. I tried to explain to them what he took from America. The lives he claimed - the fear he caused.

Emery said that bin Laden was a super villain and our super heroes killed him - once again wise beyond his years.

None of them really understood. They are children - growing up in a country where they are free, where they are safe, where they have never lived a day in fear.

How thankful I am, 10 years later, to be able to write those words.

How grateful I am to those who make them true - generation upon generation.

How proud I am to raise my children in America - The greatest nation on Earth.