Tuesday, 02 Oct 2001

Hi there,

A lot has sure happened since I last wrote. I think that is why I have been silent for so long. The events were so unbelievable and the aftermath continues. My parents are in New York city right now. Their plan after we left them in Boston was to continue on to New York, but they changed their mind and started heading West. After hearing of the drop off in tourism and the requests to return to a normal routine, they decided to go on back and see New York after all. They have been able to go up in the Empire State building, but the Statue of Liberty is still closed. They have not been near the site of the WTC but have seen numerous funerals around the city for the firemen. Such a mixture of emotions seeing New York for the first time and all that it is, and also seeing the sadness of those lost. They were at the filming of the Regis and who is it?...show this morning, and plan on being at Good Morning America tomorrow morning with their "California loves New York" sign. Watch for them!

We could not have had a better time in Boston! It was just amazing to watch the TV after arriving home and seeing things about the Logan airport and the Westin Hotel etc...having just been there. It is a great city, despite the HUGE road construction going on there. They are putting all the freeways under the city and it is a ten year project which started about 4 years ago, I believe. What a mess! I noticed when we were there, camped outside of the city, how everyone flew their flags. When we were hunting for a post office, we kept thinking we had found one because we would see the flag....this was before anything had happened.  It was beautiful to see and I'm glad that it has spread across the country now. A return to patriotism and prayer.

We visited Plymouth and saw Plymouth rock....it's about 4'x6'....!!!! Some parts have been chipped off, but still! I guess it was just a stepping stone from the boat to the land! We went to Gloucester where "Gordon's Fishermen of Gloucester" (sing it! HA) comes from and "The Perfect Storm" was filmed. We drove out to the end of Cape Code, just beautiful, and took a ferry over to Martha's Vineyard. Oh my, I could "summer" there, for sure! It only takes $$$$!! Our bus driver on Martha's Vineyard explained at the beginning of our tour that he graduated from High School in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and yes he too was in the band, although he played the trumpet not the saxophone. He did know of Bill, although they graduated four years apart and the reason he was now driving a bus and Bill became President was because he DID inhale, and he inhaled A LOT!! HA Funny guy! We had lobster at McDonald's! You heard that right! They have a lobster roll for $4.99, and it's not bad, but we also had the "real thing" at Browns and it was great!! Phil also enjoyed the most delicious bowl of clam chowder at the tip of Martha's Vineyard where our bus tour stopped for ½ hour. I bought a shirt, he bought clam chowder! We had the most crystal clear day there. The driver said it was the most beautiful day they had had all summer, and that is how our whole trip went. God truly blessed each day. In fact, the one day that it did rain, we were in the Aquarium and came out to puddles and just a slight drizzle that was left. Phil wondered why we were going to Boston and was satisfied that it was to see his grandparents, but when we left there, we were both amazed at all there was to see and do. We were not able to walk a lot because of his energy level, but other than that, all was well.

We returned home on Sunday night, flying out of Logan airport. What timing! Logan was one of the last airports to reopen, so we would have been there awhile longer. I was confused after waking to all that had happened on Tuesday, the tragedy of it all, and the tremendous sadness. The timing of our safe return, and the blessings that we had enjoyed. To me, it just didn't match up in my head. Why would God so richly bless us and bring us home safely, and yet so soon after, allow such evil to take place. I watched the TV all week long, hours and hours, as I know most of us did, and I really didn't even know what to pray. There was so much that needed to be prayed for. Where do you start and where do you make sense out of it all? I so I came to God and asked Him to help me understand how the two matched up, our vacation and this tragedy. There was just a piece missing  and in my mind I could not connect the two. He showed me that the connecting piece was the word "control". God was in control on our vacation, every day he watched over us and blessed us and kept Phil well and allowed us to enjoy that time with my parents, and God was in control when those planes crashed into the WTC and into the Pentagon and Pennsylvania. He hadn't gone to sleep, taken his hand off of the "wheel", He was still in control, but He has also given us free will. There is evil in this world, and there always will be until Christ's return. If we're looking for Heaven on earth, it ain't happenin'!  That's why we need a Savior because there will be trouble, there will be trials, there will be many hard times, and how do we get through them with any sanity left if we have no Hope. Our Hope is not based on what goes on here or if we wipe out Terrorism, or whatever we do, it's all temporary. Our Hope lies in what is eternal, and that eternity and how we spend it depends on where we put our trust. It surely isn't found in any government here on earth or in any structure we can build that can topple faster than we would have ever believed. Our Hope lies in the promises of God. Why else would the churches have been filled to capacity recently? We know where to run when the times get tough. The Truth is deep inside each one of us. We have to make a choice and we have to deal with the consequences of that choice when our life is through here. Let's listen to what God is telling us now, while we still have time. Someday it will be too late and we never know when that someday will be. Phil and I could have easily been on one of those planes that flew out of Logan airport and we could have met our fate at the WTC, and it's so good to know that our fate would have been that we would be in the arms of God right now!

It's taken me awhile to write this update about Phil's condition, and our trip etc...He continues to take steroids and is doing well. He is very excited to be having his 16th birthday this month! What a miracle that is! Thank you for all your prayers! I'm never quite sure even when I sit down to write, what God is going to fill me with, but I do know if Phil and I had been on one of those planes, I would only hope that our lives here would have touched others with the truth of God so that when we all met in heaven we could rejoice together!

I'll leave you with a poem that God has given me about September 11, 2001. And I pray for each one of you who reads this, that you know where you would be now, if you had been one of those we now mourn for....

Love, Diane


1 Corinthians 13:6-8
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

We'll Survive

As a nation we all cry, for those that we have lost
As a nation we all mourn, for those not found, still caught
Among the steel girders, that once filled the skies
Among the dust and debris, now all in ruins lie
And yet our hearts are lifted, our eyes not looking down
But looking up to our Father, He alone can save us now
Flags wave around the country, prayers said and anthems sung
All bonded now together, one Nation Under God has begun
To heal from the terror, that has so quickly struck
One day a peaceful sunset, then awakening to what disrupts
A normal night of slumber, into a brand new world
One where things must change, or our freedom could unfurl
Into the mass destruction, we all can clearly see
We must start to rebuild, not just buildings but liberty
The enemy sits satisfied, with all that he has done
We must stand together, and let him know he hasn't won
The pictures tell a story, of the evil in this world
But if we look a little closer, we'll see more than fire that curls
Reaching ever higher, as smoke fills up the sky
We'll see that love abounds, together with God, we'll survive

John 16:33
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.
In this world you will have trouble. But take heart!
I have overcome the world."