Sunday, January 22, 2012

events indelibly remembered

"Where were you when you heard... "

Have you ever been asked that question? Or maybe something triggers a memory... and you can vividly recall the details of that moment. Maybe it impacted you with such intensity that you took a snapshot in your mind so as to forever mark the moment.

Well, last week I put together such a list. My random list happens to be in the order in which those events happened.

I know where I was when I heard about ~

President Kennedy's assassination (1963) ~ I was in the 1st grade in a one-room school, with one teacher, grades 1st- 6th, 5 girls and 15 boys. Our bus (station wagon) driver Beth Moe walked in and whispered something to Mr. Hanson. I remember the look of shock on his face as he told us the President had been shot and that we needed to go home right away.

Close to You by the Carpenters (1970) ~  I had finished my 7th grade year and vaguely remember hearing the song on the radio on the way to Eau Claire. But I vividly remember hearing it for the 2nd time at my friend Naomi's party in her backyard screened-in porch. I was wearing this brown and orange flowered skort (skirt with built-in shorts) that I had made especially for the party, along with a bright orange knit shell (that's what we called sleeveless tops). The 45 rpm of Close to You was played on the record player that night and I will never forget how that song made me feel. I knew in an instant that I would be a Karen Carpenter fan for life.

Grandpa's died 24 hours apart (1970) ~ I was in the 8th grade and awoke one morning to my Dad talking real loud on the phone downstairs. He was saying that my Mom's Dad had died. Then, exactly 24 hours later I awoke to my Dad on the phone again, only this time he was saying that his Pa had died. Very surreal. I thought I was dreaming.

Dan Blocker (1972) ~ Dan Blocker played Hoss Cartwright on the television series Bonanza. It was the end of my freshman year of high school. I was in the car driving over the railroad tracks in Black River Falls, WI when I heard the news of his death on the radio. The show ended a year later... having run for 14 years and 430 episodes. My husband happens to own every single episode and he watches an episode most every day. And I kid you not, I have relayed that story to my husband and kids every single time we have crossed those railroad tracks ever since.

Elvis (1977) ~ After completing Cosmetology School in 1976, I got a job working at Nadine's Beauty Shop in downtown Eau Claire, WI. I was living in an old house with two roommates, when I got the phone call that Elvis had died. I was 6 weeks away from moving to Phoenix, Arizona, so needless to say, I was a little distracted, but clearly remember that day.

Keith Green (1982) ~  Two months after our son Shawn was born, Keith Green was killed in a plane crash. Randy & I were in the living room of our tiny rental home, Shawn was in my arms and Good Morning America was on the television. They announced that Keith Green was killed in a plane crash... and they actually showed the airplane in pieces. I was in shock, especially knowing his two children (ages 2 and 3) were with him. As a brand new Mom, all I could think of was Keith's wife, the mother of those two children, with another child at home and another on the way. Heartbreaking beyond words.

Oklahoma City Bombing (1995) ~ I will never forget, I was in the kitchen with the radio on and they broke in with breaking news of a report that there was an explosion at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal building and that half of the building was reportedly sheared off. I remember shaking with fear. My sister Kathy worked in downtown Oklahoma City. Nothing like this had ever happened on US soil. And nothing would ever be the same after that moment.

My nephew's basketball accident (1997) ~ It was Day Two of my kid's spring break. We had decided to paint Miranda's bedroom furniture that she (12) was given when she turned 2, that her Aunt Patty had while growing up. Miranda never knew her Aunt Patty (my husband's sister) because she was killed in a car accident when she was 18. I got an early morning phone call that Tuesday morning from my sister-in-law Debbie, saying that our nephew Noel (19) had fallen hard during a city-league basketball game. He had fractured his skull and they needed to remove a portion of his brain to relieve the swelling. His Mom, my sister Kathy, was on her way to WI to be with her son. And thankfully my sister Ginny was with him. I was paralyzed with fear. What should I do? I had not planned on going to Bible Study that morning because my kids were home, but in my state of fear and shock, I got off the phone and reached for my Bible Study material. And what verse do you suppose was on my list to look up ~ Psalm 39:4... He knows the numbers of our days. I was instantly flooded with peace and assurance that God was in control... no matter what happened. Noel died 5 days later and while it was heartbreaking, I am forever grateful he in with Jesus.

Twin Towers (2001) ~ I will never forget hearing Alan Jackson's song Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning), live on the CMA show a month after 9/11. Because come on, there is not a one of us that does not remember where we were when we heard about the Twin Towers, or for that matter, when we saw the 2nd plane crash into the 2nd Tower live on TV. Sheer horror. The unimaginable.
Again, it was another Tuesday morning before Bible Study. I'm in the kitchen with the radio on and it is being reported that a plane has crashed into one of the Twin Towers. Our daughter runs from her bedroom and tells us to turn on the TV. It quickly becomes apparent that we're not talking about a twin-engine plane... but a commercial airliner filled with people. I woke up Randy and we turned on the bedroom TV and watched in horror as the 2nd airliner hit the 2nd Tower. Soon we would hear about the Pentagon and Pennsylvania... and our lives would be changed forever.

Michael Jackson (2009) ~ I was working as the receptionist at our church, with plans to go over to Shawn & Nicole's to see our granddaughter Emolyn after work. Just before leaving we heard on the radio that there were reports that EMT's were transporting Michael Jackson to a hospital and that he was not breathing. I never totally believe what we are being told on the news, so thinking it was just reporters sensationalizing, I dismissed it and headed out the door, only to later hear that it was true. He had died.

My twin grand-babies (2011) ~ OK, so on a lighter note ~ how could I forget the day I heard that my son and daughter-in-law were expecting TWINS! Randy & I were at a Marriage Retreat up north and we had decided not to go out to dinner with the rest of the teaching team. We were at a new location and wanted to be on hand in case any of the couples arrived early. I will never forget, we were sitting out on this gorgeous deck overlooking this breathtaking scenery, when Randy's cell phone goes off. Mind you, in all the years of marriage retreats, this was going to be the first retreat that we would have cell phone coverage and would need to remind the couples that cell phones were off limit. So needless to say, I was a little startled to hear Randy's phone go off. He answered and immediately handed me the phone. It was Shawn, and he said Nicole had something to tell me ~
"We have something to tell you... we're pregnant... and we got pregnant with an IUD... and it will need to be surgically removed... and when I had an ultrasound to determine the location of the IUD, they saw that it was twins."
Oh my gosh! I could barely comprehend what I had just heard. I mean, that's a lot to hear. But I found myself saying out loud "This is totally a God thing! These babies are undeniably gifts from God!" And I was instantly flooded with peace and a whole lot of tears.

*** Ok, so I want you to know that there may be other events and moments worth mentioning... it's just that for whatever reason, I'm not recalling them at the moment. This is just my random list.

*** But now it's your turn! Please share a vivid "Where were you..." moment that you recall.


Ceekay- Thinkin of Home said...

I remember a lot of those you stated...but I vividly remember the day Reagan was shot....I was out shopping with my girlfriend at Hit or Miss.
And I remember the shuttle disaster. I was home watching it with my kids and we didn't realize right away what had happened.
But nothing, NOTHING (I HOPE and PRAY) will ever top 911. It was horrible!!

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Very interesting post Linda!
I think the day that JFK was shot is as vivid as 911. I was only 7 when JFK was shot but it is a day as clear as 911 when I was in my mid-forties.
Funny how the mind works that way.
So exciting about the twins too, and boy is that gal fertile!

Nancy said...

Linda, you have an amazing mind for the details. I remember some of those events, but I definitely wouldn't be able to tell you what I was wearing that day. Wow! For 9/11 I arrived at work in California and the Security Guard (with eyes wide open) asked if I had heard that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. In the office, we turned on our radios and listen to the tragic news the rest of the day.

Nick, Noelle, Elayna, and Jack said...

Somehow I deleted my comment. Let me try this again:
I remember when Nicole told me she was pregnant as well. We were both responding to a stroke alert in the emergency department at Banner Thunderbird. She asked if I could push the patient's stretcher. "Sure thing, are you okay? Did you hurt your back?" She responded in her beautifully witty way, "Nope, my front (pause, and me with a questioning look). I am pregnant. Wait for it... with twins!" It was an awesome moment. I picked up my jaw from the ground. :) She's such a cool girl and amazing Mom.

jojo said...

powerful post today and one that really got me thinking. Weird thing? I was thinking about Dan Blocker this morning and how young he was when he died, I was remembering watching all the happenings on Bonanza with my parents. I think I was being a little nostalgic for those simplier days.