Like all of you, I have a story. Burned into my memory like a bad dream, I remember precisely where I was 16 years ago this morning. I remember the phone ringing, listening to someone tell me about the first one, turning on the TV just in time to see the second. I remember the room I was in, the people who were there, the color of the TV. We lived in the flight path for Port Columbus, and I remember the eery silence of the rest of the day. I specifically recall the sadness on everyone's faces, and even the lady's face who told me I could not donate blood because of a previous transfusion. And I remember the look on our Presidents face.
No matter what happened after, or how you feel about his term in office, on that night he did not look like a diplomatic President, ready to downplay the moment or tell us what lessons there were to be learned. No, President Bush looked ticked off, like a mad Texan looking for blood. And I was right there with him.
That one month of every year when things seem to jump off tracks, when the world seems to be turned upside down, and where heartache seems inevitable. And despite Christmas and new Year's Eve and Tanner's Birthday, December has more often than not brought a little more pain than I have wanted. It has, for most of my adult life, been that month that my stomach turned a little as the calendar changed.
But this past year, December was better than usual. Tiffany was feeling good, and had even been put on the Heart Transplant List on the at the beginning of that month. The holidays were really good, and as we closed out the New Year I was grateful that the December doldrums had finally went by the wayside.
But BOOM. Along came June.
On the 5th day of the month, I was sitting in a restaurant in Northwest Columbus enjoying lunch with a colleague and a few insurance adjusters. As we were chatting my phone rang. I looked down and saw "Little Red" …
At 19 years old, I knew it all. I bought my first car for $150.00. I had quit college to save money so I coud marry a girl. And I had moved out of my parents house (after they told me I had too) to my very own apartment. It was my life. My freedom. My place. Well sort of.
Rent was $525.00 a month. That was a lot. So I had to have a room mate. Well 3 actually. I had to share a room with my best friend Brad, while my crazy, gun nut, con artist other roomate shared the second bedroom with his girlfriend. It was not a good situation. Still, though, it was my first taste of adulthood. And while the girl dumped me and the car broke down (who knew a $150.00 car would not be reliable?) the memories of living in that place have stuck with me through the years.
I remember one day in particular, as I was walking to work, I saw a man in the driveway of a home along the way. He was teaching his son, who could not have been more than 4 or 5, how to ri…