Category Archives: Anniversaries

Memories Are the Key Not to the Past, but to the Future

Bev-Pam-in-NY-ca-1983_thumb.jpg

The Hicks Sisters ca 1983

“Memories are the key not to the past, but to the future.” ~ Corrie Ten Boom ~

It had been a glorious, beautiful, brisk autumn day. I stood and breathed in a stunning panoramic view as I watched the sun lower into a captivating sunset. Faster than I realized, dusk took over, and then twilight swiftly took hold as I watched evening begin to dance alive in the streets below in Manhattan.

It was a wonderful magic show – partly Divinely created and partly man made. It was etched into my memory for the rest of my life.

I was standing in the observation deck of the World Trade Center.

Little did I know 18 years later the very spot I was standing on would topple to the ground in rubble and dust and become part of Ground Zero. My magical space would be destroyed by Islamic terrorists filled with hate, determined to destroy my country and thousands of innocent people.

I was a young lass on that magical day in 1983, the mother of a toddler, full of hope for a bright future. I look at pictures of my sister and me taken during that visit and I get chill bumps because I see us and I want to shout, “Look long and hard. Burn these memories into your mind because you will lose so much in the future!”

How could I ever imagine the terror that lay ahead for me personally and the terror that laid ahead for my country? How could I have ever imagined something like 9/11 happening in my country?

But, it did. And, it happened in a year that was one of personal turmoil for me. There were things that happened to me I never thought I would experience in my world – vows broken, trusts broken, violence committed. And, then in the midst of all that – September 11, 2001 happened.

I had just returned home the day before from a trip to Florida with a friend who had gone down to see her parents. On the trip I’d had a health crisis and spent time in the ER.

So, I was still feeling frail and in recovery mode on that September morning when I got a call that said, “Turn on your TV!”

As we speculated – was this an accident or an attack – the second plane plowed into the second Trade Tower. That pretty much settled it – we were under attack.

From that point on, I was glued in place in front of the TV just to watch the unfolding events. Since I had lived in New York for about a year, I knew how many people lived and worked in that area of the city and the numbers were massive. Small city-size massive. We could be looking at unbelievably high death tolls. I began to cry and pray.

Then, one of the most horrific things I’d ever seen in my life happened – one of the Towers began to crumble, to accordion down on itself. It was falling like a stick of hot butter in a microwave.

How could this be happening?!

I desperately wanted the other Tower to be saved – but in my heart I knew it more or less faced the same fate. And, it did. It fell, too, leaving a trail of cascading destruction and death.

And, then the aftermath began…mountains size heaps of debris, personal locators of first responders trilling constantly indicating a man down here…and here…and there…and over there…and here… It was a new level of hell.

It took this country a while to recover from 9/11 just like it took me a while to recover from the personal cataclysm going on in my life at the time.

But, recover I did. I did by beginning to move on. I married the man who should have always been my heart mate. I grew stronger inside and stronger mentally regardless of what my disabled body tried to tell me.

Every year when 9/11 comes around I remember. Some years are worse than others. This year was bad. My PTSD kicks in many years. Every year I have a man that stands by me with unyielding compassion and understanding.

I have a very growing concern that Americans are growing away from 9/11. They are forgetting 9/11 – the cause, effect and aftermath and how we were one Family after the attack.

Unlike the generation before who “Remembered Pearl Harbor!”, it’s deemed not very politically correct to “Remember 9/11” any more. Patriotism is almost view as “deplorable”. Some of our leaders like to play political footsies with the very people who financed the terrorism against us and are getting wealthy themselves from these relationships.

This is very unfortunate because history and the past are our teachers. If we forget our past, many times we are destined to repeat the past.

Corrie Ten Boom and her family were Gentile Dutch living in Nazi occupied Holland during WWII. The Ten Boom family saw what the Nazis were doing to the Jews in Holland and they made a decision to make a difference. They began hiding Jews in their home. Eventually the Ten Boom family was discovered and the Nazis rounded them up and sent them to concentration camps. Corrie lost family members in these camps.

After the war, Corrie understood the importance of putting the past into perspective. No, we don’t live in the past, but as Corrie said, “Memories are the key not to the past, but to the future.”

We must take the lessons of 9/11 and learn from them – for the sake of the future and so the death of the thousands lost that September day are not in vain.

© 2016 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under 9/11, Anniversaries, History, Islamic Terrorist, Life, Memories, New York, New York City, Photography, Picture of the Day, Quote of the Day, September 11, USA, World Trade Towers

Empty Chairs, by Beverly Hicks Burch

“…This chair, this empty chair where you belong, right in front of me once again, I miss you. “ ~ Alex ~

OK City Memorial Jan 2001

Reflecting Pool and Gate of Time, a memorial marking the time of the bombing – 9:03 AM April 19, 1999

OK City Memorial B Jan 2001

Each chair represents an empty chair at the dinner table in the homes of the casualties…each chair represents a life lost on that day. The children’s chairs are smaller than the adult chairs. 168 people lost their lives that day.

There is something about this middle week of April. As Plutarch reported, while on his way to the Senate, Caesar was warned by a seer, “Beware the Ides of March”.

From April 15th onward, we now mark too many anniversaries no nation, no people should ever have to mark in a lifetime..let alone in the short span of two decades.

Maybe we should from here on out “beware the Ides of April”…

Like most historical events, I’m sure each of us can remember where we were when each of these events unfolded…

April 19, 1993 was the day that saw the end of the siege of a religious cult compound in Waco, Texas. The siege had begun 50 days earlier after a confrontation between the AFT and some compound members. At its height, the maximum population of members in the compound were 132. They were facing Attorney General Janet Reno, the ATF, FBI, Texas Rangers, Texas National Guard and US Army Special Forces. By the end of the siege on April 19th, 76 men, women and children lay dead from a fire that engulfed the compound after an attack from authorities was launched against the compound.

April 19, 1995 was a dark day in American history. On that day US citizens saw first-hand the evil face of domestic terrorism when the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building was demolished by a “car bomb”. The magnitude of the bomb blast was so great that 324 buildings in a 16 block radius were damaged. 168 innocent people lost their lives that day including 19 precious children under the age of 6. They had been part of the future of America…

April 20, 1999 two deranged students took siege of Columbine High School in Columbine, Colorado. They were not only armed with firearms, but they also had knives and had rigged 99 explosives throughout the school and in vehicles parked around the school. Thirteen people died that day before the cowards turned their weapons on themselves and committed suicide.

April 16, 2007 a student with documented mental illness went on a rampage on the campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia killing 32 people and injuring another 17. He then killed himself.

And, now we have April 15, 2013. The day two bombs detonated at the beloved Boston Marathon. I love Boston. I have spent good times there. I love the Red Sox. When I heard of the location of the blast, I thought, “My God, I’ve probably walked that street.” It felt personal to this Southern gal, even though I’m not a runner.

It’s too early at this point to have all the details. We do know 3 people lost their lives, 140 have been injured, some very gravely. Officials are being very tight lipped about a “person of interest”. They have been reluctant to call this an act of terrorism until just recently. Foreign media is reporting there is a Saudi national who was in the US on a school visa being held in custody. There is much still to learn about this developing story…

When I originally began working on this post Sunday (the 14th) I had no idea that evil was lurking around the corner, waiting to explode and break the tentative since of security and safety we have here in the States. Each event seems to chip a little bit more away each time…I believe we are more under siege than we realize…

I began this post to commemorate the the upcoming anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing and share some photos I took during a visit there in 2001.

It was a cold, overcast somber day in January 2001 when I visited the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial. The crucial essence or backbone of what the memorial was to be was in place, but other areas were still developing. It would be dedicated a year later and officially opened. One of the most sobering and moving tributes was a stretch of chain link fence that was full of tributes left by individuals in memory of those lost on that horrific day.

The day I was there wasn’t quite six years past April 19, 1995 when that deadly and unbelievable act of domestic terrorism took away the innocence of Oklahoma City and of the nation at large. We had wept as a country. Six years later I still wanted to weep.

We were changed forever more…

But, we were yet to be tested…

Little did I know, standing there in January 2001 in less than six months I would be going through an unforeseeable upheaval of my own when my husband walked out on our marriage. Nor did I know in less than nine months our nation would be rocked to its very foundation when foreign terrorist attack the US on September 11, 2001 leaving almost another 3,000 empty chairs across the country.

We all walked around, stunned, shocked, concerned, frightened and asking “why” after each of these event. We became angry, pointed fingers and railed against man and God each time forgetting it is that kind of darkness that leads to the acts that have damaged us in the first place. It takes very dark hearts to carry out such devastating acts against the innocent.

I like the way James says it: “What starts wars and fighting among you? Is it not because you want many things and are fighting to have them? You want something you do not have, so you kill. You want something you cannot get, so you fight for it…” James 4:1-2 New Life Version

I would venture to say a dark heart is at the root of any act of senseless violence…

There are many, many empty chairs across the nation tonight. Regardless of how that chair became empty, it hurts. My own family went through the holiday season with an achingly empty chair because we lost my beloved Aunt LaRue last June. There’s been an empty chair in my heart since I lost my Papaw at the age of ten. No one can ever fill those empty chairs…

Tonight, we add at least three more empty chairs because of the bombing in Boston.

My heart grows weary of these needlessly, vacant, empty chairs….

© 2013 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

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Filed under Anniversaries, Aunt LaRue, Boston Marathon Bombing April 15 2013, Columbine Shooting April 20 1999, James 4:1-2, Oklahoma City Bombing April 19 1995, Oklahoma City Memorial, Photography, Picture of the Day, Quote of the Day, Travel, Virginia Tech Shooting April 16 2007, Waco Siege April 19 1993

But the Greatest of these is Love…, by Beverly Hicks Burch

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. ~ I Cor. 13:13  NIV ~

This month marks the 60th wedding anniversary of my parents. That’s a milestone in and of itself, but it’s also a rarity these days. I often wonder about the future and how many 50th and 60th anniversaries we’ll see celebrated.

My parents have raised three daughters, one a disabled child that has lived at home since birth…something that went against the tide in the days when children like her were institutionalized.

They’ve also seen a lot of changes in the world in those 60 years. We should honor the elders in our society and not push them aside…we will be them one day…sooner than we realize.

During those changes and trials I saw my parents persevere with faith, hope and love…and the greatest was love…

 

Oakley Hicks and Juanita McGee Early 1950's

Momma and Daddy ca 1950s

 

Mommma & Daddy 25th

Momma and Daddy’s 25th wedding anniversary picture

Mom & Daddy 5-12-02

Momma and Daddy just after their 50th anniversary

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Filed under 60th Wedding Anniversary, Anniversaries, Family, Love, Parents, Photography, Picture of the Day

Marking an Anniversary – Carcinoid Cancer

Today I’m reblogging this article from the Caring for Carcinoid Foundation.

I thought of this often in January because January marks one of two very similar anniversaries for me. In Jan. 1982 I had my first surgery for non-smoking lung cancer in my right lung. My 31st cancer free anniversary in my right lung just passed. (October will mark 18 cancer free years in my left lung where in 1995 I had 60% of my left lung removed due to a very aggressive cancer.)

I was VERY young in 1982, had an 18 month old son, had never smoked, nor lived with a smoker or exposed to anything more than casual second-hand smoke (mainly from restaurants, which were not smoke free in those days).

The discovery was a fluke. I had actually taken my mom, disabled sister and young son out shopping (in my 5 speed straight shift Toyota that only I could drive) and as I pulled into the parking lot at the mall had a sharp, painful, breath stealing jab fleet across my collar bone. It literally knocked the breath out of me and paralyzed me.

After it passed, I drove on toward a parking space and then, WHAM! It hit again!

This time I knew I had to get back to “my” side of town and the doctor because I knew we’d be stranded if I became incapacitated. I was the only one who could drive my car!

The doc thought maybe my lung was collapsing. He took x-rays and when he did, that’s when the culprit was found…a tumor on the lower lobe of my right lung. That was in Oct. 1982.

It was observed for 3 months and then surgery was set for Jan. 1982.

After my thoracic surgeon did my surgery, he told my family, we could “thank God we found in when we did”.

Carcinoid cancer is rare. 4 to 5 out of 100,000 people a year are diagnosed with it. Although the lungs is a place it can be found, it’s more common to find it in the gastrointestinal system.

Please take time to read this article about carcinoid cancer and carcinoid syndrome. Visit their website, also. It could help someone you love someday.

Carcinoid Cancer | Carcinoid and Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Cancer  Research | CFCF.

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Filed under Anniversaries, cancer, Carcinoid Cancer, Health, Women's health

Middle of the Bench, by Beverly Hicks Burch

“Love is what makes two people sit in the middle of a bench when there is plenty of room on both ends.” ~ Unknown~

anniversay roses C

In the short space of six weeks, between Thanksgiving and the beginning of January, there is ample reason for celebrating in our house. To be even more specific, from Dec. 24th until the beginning of January we celebrate Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, our wedding anniversary, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day and my birthday!

Can you let out a really big, “Whew!!” after that whirlwind?

This year added into that mix was the fact that my mom had surgery and my back was out of sorts and totally non-functional and I had terrible gastrointestinal problems. I am barely beginning to mend now, but I have to admit I am mending and the dark circles are gradually fading from under my eyes.

Today’s picture is evidence of the TLC I had during that time. My T & H bent over backwards to take care of me and make each occasion as special as he could.  He shopped, cooked and presented me with the sweetest cards. He went out in pouring rain and came home with this dozen of beautiful red roses for our anniversary.

I can’t believe over a decade has passed since T & H and I first met and he was my Knight in Shining Armor…my Tall & Handsome southwestern cowboy. It’s even harder to believe we have already been married nine of those 12 years.

Someday I will share our story, but for now I will say that in finding T & H I found a man with one of the kindest, purest hearts of anyone I’ve known. He has encouraged me, we have enjoyed wonderful new experiences together and grown together. There is not a day that goes by in our house without laughter. In goods times and bad, we are together. He is my Jeff to my Mutt, my peanut butter to my jelly, my Richard to my Liz, my Ricky to my Lucy…

He is the reason I sit in the middle of the bench…

© 2013 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

 

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Filed under Anniversaries, Holidays, Horticulture, Love, Roses, Tall & Handsome