The following is a post by a great writer, My love, My wife, Amy Washington. Thanks to her for being our guest writer on this. You put it together so well.

As I reflect back on September 11th, 2001, I am reminded of a time of darkness. A time of pure hatred and senseless killings. Unfortunately, like most Americans, I witnessed the most insidious act of terror that ever unfolded on American soil and that day was September 11th, 2001!

September 11th, 2001 was a cold Tuesday morning. It was a school day for my daughters—Alyssia and Ashley. Alyssia was in the fourth grade and Ashley was in the 1st grade. After I dropped the girls off at school I entered into the house with my son Jorden, who was about 14 months old at the time. I barely could get inside the house when I heard the telephone ringing. I almost missed the call because I was trying to get myself inside the house to put Jorden down. When I picked up the telephone I heard my husband’s voice on the other end sounding worried. The conversation didn’t start with a “Good morning Amy.” “How are you?” Or with “What’s going on?” All he said was turn on the television. I thought to myself this is weird, but I did it anyway. So as I was turning on the television Jeff was explaining to me what was going on because I was looking at one of the Twin Towers on fire. Before he could finish his words the most tragic thing happened, the second plane hit the last tower. I couldn’t believe what I saw. Still holding the telephone in my hand, I was in disbelief and not to mention speechless. I asked Jeff, “Is this a joke?” “Is this by chance Independence Day part two?” “Where is Will Smith?” I asked. I needed to make sense of what I was seeing. I could not believe for the life of me that this was happening in real time. Then Jeff said out loud—what I was thinking silently, “We’re being attacked!” I quickly went into mommy mode. I wanted to go back to the school and take my children out of their classes. But Jeff said to me that the schools may be on lock down and that I may not be able to get them out. He also told me that the schools knew what to do and that the girls would be fine. Of course, nothing at that moment could calm my fears especially when I felt my children lives could be in jeopardy. However, I trusted my husband’s instincts and advice. Instead, I began to pray. Jeff had to go back to work but he stayed in constant contact with me throughout that morning.

My eyes were seriously glued to the television fixated with every word that came out of Peter Jennings mouth. I just couldn’t get myself to move from the television. I saw nothing but black smoke from the towers. I heard grave comments coming from the reporters stating that they could hear people screaming, shouting and could also see them jumping to their deaths. I just couldn’t believe it. Tears were steadily streaming down my face. I felt so helpless. I heard Peter say in a very somber voice along with the other commentators that it’s a matter of time before the Twin Towers collapse. I was praying that this wouldn’t be true but unfortunately, the towers did collapse one by one. My heart sunk to the floor watching all of this unfold. I shook my head and shouted out No! No! No! and begin to cry even more. I felt so horrible for the lives that were lost in the collapse towers. I imagined the mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, wives, husbands, policemen, firemen, paramedics and so many others gone, all perished for no valid reason. Their lives were shortened for what? The good of evil? That’s’ not right and that’s not fair! But as we all know life isn’t fair is it? My heart especially went out to the widows of the policemen and the firemen because I’m part of that family. It could have easily been me to lose a love one in the line of duty that day.

As I look back ten years later, many changes have taken place since 9/11. Changes that have become quite inconvenient for most of us to bare or to adjust to. However, these changes were necessary. The question will always be will terrorism end in the world? Sadly, not in my mind. As long as there is good in the world there will always be evil in the world. Just as there is love there is also hate. The choice is up to the individual to decide what side of the boundaries that they would like to represent. I pray that there will be a day when majority of the world will decide to honor the good instead of embodying evil. The world would be a much better place for it if this happens. As difficult as it was, I chose not to live in fear. I did not want my life dictated by someone elses agenda of hatred. God was my deliverer, my comforter, my guide and protector! I refused to succumb to fear and by the looks of all the flags that were waving in the air I was not alone. One thing is for certain, is that we are all capable of human kindness and displaying unity in the world. Flags rose higher than high in the sky days and weeks after 9/11. There were big flags, small flags, long flags it didn’t matter what size the flags were, they all were visible for all to see love, unity and strength of those who still believed in the greater good!

I will forever remember this day, 9/11 just as those who will always remember the assassinations of: John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr. or even John Lennon and so forth. September 11th, is definitely a day that should never be forgotten. It is up to us to make sure that the casualties of 9/11 are always remembered. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of the families who were affected directly or indirectly with the events of September 11th, 2001! May God bless you all!

By a great writer, my love, my wife,

Amy Washington

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September 11, 2001 (9-11)

Do you remember where you were and what you were doing when it happened? I was at work at my job at the police department walking by a television in the shift commanders office. I watched as the first tower burned and just kept wondering how the heck were they going to get enough water up to those high floors to put out the fire. By now several of my co-workers and I are standing around watching. I even called home and told my wife to turn on the television.

Baaaaam!!!!!

The second plane hits the south tower. My first thought is that we are under attack. This date, September 11, 2001, will live in infamy, our infamy. It is a pivotal moment that triggered a significant emotional event that affected all of us. That’s why we can remember so vividly where we were and what we were doing. It’s almost like that moment in time was permanently etched on our minds. Similar things have happened in the past, some during my lifetime and some before. Space shuttle Challenger blowing up, JFK assassination, MLK or Bobby Kennedy Assassinations and a few others.

Are we safer? Is our personal safety better than it was was 10 years ago? A simple answer is yes and no. A more complicated answer can only truly be given by each and every individual.

To me the only true way to win the war that was waged on us is to not to let them win. We can’t destroy the head of the snake quick enough without it growing another head. That leaves us with our individual lives. Secure yourself and your family. Prepare for the inevitable and occasional calamity so you are ready when it happens. Decrease the debt in your life so that it doesn’t become a burden for you.

But do all you can do to take care of your “Kingdom”. I mean this word to signify the importance and influence each of us has within our families. I’ve always felt that we may all not have the opportunity to change the world…but if we just work at making our “Kingdom”, as good as it can be it is inevitable that the world will be the better for it.

Take care of each other, always,

 

Jeffrey Washington

NeverQuitEver

 

 

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Today I had occasion to be reminded of the general goodness in people.

For a few weeks I’ve been looking online for a couple parts that I needed to replace on our furnace. Now this isn’t a really new furnace so finding replacement parts has been a challenge.

The other day while I was looking online once again, I came across a company in Owosso, MI, about 30 minutes from my home that showed on their website that they had both of the items I was looking for. Just about every other site had one or the other and wanted $10-$15 shipping each. I called this place today, to check and see if the items were in stock, which they thankfully were. I even decided to take a 1/2 hour off from work so that I could get their well before they closed.

Well I got their and they did have my parts. I took the old items in the store so that we could visually compare them as well. I’m riding home, really pleased that I found the parts. All is well until———————–(insert record scratch). Once I get home I’m unloading the car and no motor. I’ve got the other part, but NO motor. WTF. I call the company and ask the guy that answers the phone if I left the box with the motor on the counter. After looking around he tells me that I in fact did. I figure I’ll take another road trip tomorrow, but he offers another suggestion. He says he is leaving work and can meet me at a bank parking lot about 5 miles from my home as opposed to the 70 miles round trip to the store. He says it would be no trouble and is right near his house. We work out the details and I head to the bank. Right about the time he says he should be there, he pulls up. He hands me the motor and I offer to give him a $5 spot for his troubles. He refuses vehemently so I figure I toss the bill in his lap and walk away smiling and thanking him. He grabs the money and insists that it wasn’t any trouble, especially since he had to stop by the ATM anyway. All I can say is “WOW”.

Obviously that guy didn’t have to go to so much trouble. He could have just told me it would be there waiting for me the next day. As I said earlier, this reminds me of the general goodness in people. Too many times in the world, people only focus on the bad that people do. Sometimes it is good to focus on the good. I didn’t get his name; but I am truly grateful for his kindness and generosity.

It’s always good to be reminded of “The general and genuine goodness in people.”

Take care of each other,

Jeffrey Washington
Neverquitever

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On July 21, 2011, I decided to venture downtown during the evening, in my hometown of Flint, MI. There was slated to be a car show. Now a car show on a Thursday evening is a little strange around these parts, but it is supposed to be a celebration of the 100th anniversary of Chevrolet, a division of General Motors. I figure what the heck, I own two Chevrolets and drive them at work, why not go down to take a look.

When I get home from work, I change out of my uniform and get ready. My oldest daughter, Alyssia, asks if she can come along. No problem I tell her…just hurry up. You know these teenage girls; if you don’t put a fire under them they will be primping and prodding to look perfect right past all the festivities.

We get down there and see lots of cars parked right on the “Bricks” on Saginaw street in Downtown Flint. There are lots of great and beautiful cars. I thought I had my video camera until I got there and found a bag with accessories and no camera. Dooooh.

As we walk around we talk with and listen in on some great conversations with car owners. Now this isn’t just you average local car show with a few locals and some folks from adjoining states. One guy drove his classic all the way from Texas, 1400 miles. Another guy was describing his vintage 50’s era air conditioning system on his classic. It was a strange looking cylinder on the passenger side window of the vehicle. As we finish talking with him, I see a local news anchor, Angie Hendershot walking up. I figure she is going to talk with this guy so we start backing up. She then asks me if I mind her talking with me about the car show and what it means to have it in Flint. I agree and she shoots me a few questions. Now call me dumb; I know she is a TV personality, but I’m wondering why she is talking to me with just a microphone. She asks a half dozen short questions or so and thanks me for talking with her. As she walks away, I see she joins up with a camera man in the middle of the street who was taping the whole thing. Whaaaaaaaat. We were on the sidewalk. I had no clue. Was my hair ok? Was anything in my nose? I felt pretty calm during the interview. Heck had I known that I was being taped I probably would have been a lot more nervous.

Anyway I spoke highly of the event and how great it was in my hometown and how Flint could use some good press. I have no idea if the segment will be on the TV or edited out as I write this. If it is I guess I should add a bit more to this post since, I think I might be famous…well not so much.

Take care of each other,

Jeffrey Washington
NQE

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A few weeks ago I went to a local hospice to see my friend, Brian Coleman. He is only 40 or so and he unfortunately has extensive cancer throughout his body.

I’ve known him since about 1994 when he was first applying to the Flint Police Department. I was actually the person that did his background investigation. I’ve joked with him that it is partially my fault that we let him work there.

Brian has always been a very personable man and I’ve liked that about him. Even when he received his promotion to Sergeant he was still the same ole’ Brian. For those of you in Law Enforcement you know what I’m talking about. Some people get them a little bit of rank and bam!!! Dictatorship. They expect more out of you than they gave when they were in your same position. Not Brian. He was always fair and kind and fun to be around.

About a year or so now, he apparently found out that he had cancer. He went through a batch of chemo and radiation for a few months.

One day I saw him working at the Detective Bureau desk and I hadn’t seen him in a long time. Recently I’ve told myself, if I am curious about something, I was just going to ask. So with that in mind, I asked him why he was gone so long and if his weight loss was on purpose. He said that he had the Big “C” as he called it. We talked further about it and I was glad I didn’t shy away from him then or since.

During the middle of July 2011, he went to the hospital to have an operation to remove a bowel obstruction. From what I heard, once the doctors went in they found cancer all over his torso…including, his stomach, intestines, liver, etc.

They determined that there was nothing else that he could so they sent him home to a local Hopspice center. And that’s what brought me to see him on this day.

I actually went to the hospital in Ann Arbor, MI, about an hour from home to see him and found out he was transferred back to Flint. Oh well…it was a nice morning for a drive.

I expected the worst and even heard that he didn’t recognize anyone and was a bit out of sorts in his mind. To my surprise, he was alert and talking. I could tell he was very weak and looked quite thin as I expected. It was good to see him and I’m glad he recognized me. I wish there was a good chance he would pull through, but the prognosis is not good.

I hope he feels he has lived a good life. We all must face our mortality in due time. The key is do we face it standing with integrity or on our proverbial knees. I think he is standing.

Take care of each other,

Jeffrey Washington
NeverQuitEver

P.S. On August 8th, 2011, Brian lost his great fight. He will be truly missed and many lives are better for having known him. There was a nice write up about him in the local paper. You can find the Flint Journal link here.

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