As I reflected on 9/11 I found a short video recounting an event I had not heard before.. The story of “the man with the red bandana”. It begins with the words, “What would you do in the last hour of your life?” As our world has become smaller and smaller solidly entrenched in Batten disease, I immediately thought of Luke and Rachel. What will we do in the last hour of their life? My brain seems to want me to do a dress rehearsal for what is to come. Through my thoughts the video continued to play, telling the story of Welles Crowther. A man whose entire life seemed to lead him to exactly where he was needed for ONE HOUR. He did not choose for a plane to crash into his workplace. Yet it did. Luke and Rachel did not choose to have Batten disease, yet it happened. And they seem to be exactly where they are supposed to be for their ONE HOUR (15 years and counting).
Welles saved 12 lives in his hour each one remembering what he said when he “appeared out of no where” with his red bandana.
“Everyone who can stand, stand Now; if you can help others do so. It was those words that lead me back to our life. Thinking back on the lives that Luke and Rachel have touched, inspired, challenged, changed.
And to the ones they haven’t reached yet.
And like Mrs. Crowther… I am proud.
They have stood for as long as they could and their courage as they face each obstacle the disease throws at them helps others.
In Welles’ one hour he climbed back up 17 flights of stairs, his obstacles fire, death, smoke, and debris in what must have seemed like a lifetime. His hour ended as the South tower came down. The effect of the man will resonate for generations.
The terrorist we face is in our cells and for now the towers will continue to fall. Each time our world will look a little different. Rebuilding to be exactly as we were before isn’t an option; readjusting our view is. Each time the effect will touch, challenge, inspire, change…..someone.
A Six year old Welles was given a red bandana that he carried always. Perhaps the Twenty Four year old Welles used it to keep the smoke out of his lungs, or maybe it was meant to be in his hands so his parents would “know”.
I look forward to the “knowing”.
What we will do in the last hour of our children’s lives? We will be Proud.
And I for one hope I will be able to remember and live by the words of The Man With the Red Bandana’.
“Everyone Who Can Stand, Stand Now; If You Can Help Others Do So!”