Londonberry Lane

My mom wrote this story 13 years ago. It was published in local newspapers and came quite close to being published in Chicken Soup for the American Soul. This is her story; not mine. But on today, a day of remembrance, I think that it’s important for everyone to share their stories. 

Londonberry Lane

by Patricia M. Wojdyla

The sky is blue with pale yellow clouds, slowly turning pink. As the sun sets, there is no sound. The date is September 12, 2001. One day after the Attack on America. One cannot express the mortification we all feel.
 
At forty-three years of age, I am a typical American suburban wife and mother. My husband of nineteen years, Larry, owns and operates our family business. It has been the local bar and grill on Main Street for the past twenty-two years. Our children are typical suburban teens. Chrissy, a freshman, attends Bradley University. She has always been involved in school functions, cheerleading, and civic volunteer work. Brian is a senior at Glenbard East High School. He, too, actively participates in football, wrestling, and he has volunteered with church. We work hard, and are parishioners of Christ the King Church. We care about our community. 
 
Our neighborhood is a very diverse one. Many people from many nations live on Londonberry Lane. We are White, Black, Hispanic and many new Americans. They have come to the United States from India, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan. Our faiths include Christian, Islamic, Mormon, Hindu — whatever we want. This is America. Each day, our street bustles with the sounds of children laughing, screaming, playing, riding bikes, and rollerskating. People walk around the block daily. The teen boys playing basketball is a common sight.
 
Not today.
 
Not yesterday.
 
The sky is empty. No planes. What an eerie feeling. Having lived within a few miles of O’Hare International Airport my entire life, I have never known this phenomenon. Airplanes are a part of life. Through all sunsets, sunrises, blue skies and cloudy days, planes fly unconsciously by. 
 
Televisions blare endlessly on, airing the latest accounts. We see horrific images again and again. More buildings are falling as countless lives are lost. War is a real threat. It is beyond belief. This is the United States of America. New York, Washington, Pennsylvania. So far away from our house. But it is our American family that has been killed. Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, kids, friends, lovers. Altering the lives of millions of people forever. Entire companies wiped out. The whole scenario is completely mind boggling.
 
We will continue to go to work, our children to school. Our prayers will take a little more effort and time. 
 
As the sun sets on the American flag, it brightens our house on Londonberry Lane. 
 
So quiet, one could hear a pin drop.
 
No children playing.
 
No women walking.
 
No laughter.
 
No planes. 
 

We remember.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

In Light of the Tragedy in Connecticut

I realize that I have yet to comment on the shooting in Connecticut. I realize that I was, until this post, a minority in the blogging world for having held off until now. But what I have to say needed a few days to breath. And I still cannot seem to find the eloquence that I long to find. And I’m sure haters are going to hate. But this is my blog with my opinions and feelings. Without further ado…

Our strongest weapon is hope. Hope for a brighter future. Hope for a more peaceful world. Hope for our children and their children.

Our biggest enemy is fear. Fear of moving forward. Fear of violence and terror. Fear for our children and their children.

We need to gather strength from our mourning hearts and courage from our fears to move forward. To continue on. To hope that the world isn’t all terrible. And to remember. When innocent children are killed for selfish and thoughtless crimes, the world weeps. For one brief moment, they are everyone’s children. But after the news had aired, the children are returned to the earth, and the world resumes in blissful ignorance.

Until it happens again.

What, then, can we do to prevent such a tragedy?

6 months ago, 70 people were injured or killed in a movie theater.

5 years ago, 50 people were injured or killed at a Virginia university.

13 years ago, more than 30 people were injured or killed in a Colorado high school.

Can such tragedies be prevented? What can we do to help our children and their children? Instead of placing blame, we need to take responsibility. We need to hold ourselves accountable. We need to hope. We need to have faith…in something.

someecard tragedy Sandy Hook Elementary

I’ve been mostly appalled with the judgmental hostility floating around the internet. When an even like that at Sandy Hook Elementary occurs, we shouldn’t start pointing fingers at the people who manage to make it through the day laughing and playing with their families or friends. The world doesn’t stop when anyone passes away. The world doesn’t stop when human beings are cold. Or hungry. Or abused. Or mentally distressed. The world weeps, but it does not stop; not for a second. You can choose to dwell on the tragic events that the news chose to publicize (because yes, a lot of other tragic events happen that you don’t even know about), or you can choose to do something about it. Live your life to the fullest. Contact a politician. Do something nice for others. Be a decent human being that makes other peoples’ lives worth living.

The following blog posts have been inspirational in my journey to find the right words:

Still Life Miniatures-So Much Going On

First Time Mom and Dad-An Open Letter to Media Hounds

It’s a Dome Life-I Don’t Have Any Words

The B(itch)log-What is Wrong With You People?

To them, I say, thank you.

What do you think? Am I wrong?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!