Hillary Clinton – When Sisterhood Goes Tragically Wrong

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I wasn’t going to post anything else about the election.  I spent all of Tuesday night making funny memes and creating funny posts to cover up my nervousness and the nervousness of a great majority of my Black female friends on Facebook.

Let’s be clear – “we” didn’t lose the election for Hillary.  The results of this election rest squarely on the shoulders of her White sisters (who rejected her in favor of Donald Trump) and herself and team for underestimating the turnout of Trump voters.  So even though I know this loss hurt Hillary Clinton (it has to hurt to not have the support of other women who look like you, who should identify with you), she should take some comfort in the notion that 96% of Black women (the OVERWHELMING majority) thought that she would make a good President and thought her to be more qualified than the Donald Trump.  That would make me feel good even though as a White woman I would probably still be crying in my wine.

This may be why Hillary chose not to address her supporters in the wee hours of election morning.  How do you face your supporters after you’ve run a race to shatter the glass ceiling for ALL women only to discover those that look most like you didn’t want you to shatter that ceiling.  Pundits are trying to make sense of the shocking upset…but really it is most shocking because the pollsters and the media got it wrong.  They assumed that Hillary (as she herself probably assumed) would carry the White female demographic overwhelmingly.  I mean, she herself is a White woman who has given most of her life to public service, and it was almost written on the day she attached her wagon to Bill Clinton and later served as First Lady, then Senator, then Secretary of State, she would be the first female President.

And then when it was time, after she laid all of that groundwork – White women chose her challenger, a young Senator from Illinois with a resume that while great, was not as awesome as her.  Ouch.  I remember feeling sorry for her then – and forgave her for how vehemently she tried to deny Barack Obama the Democratic nod.  Barack set her up for even greater success by choosing her as Secretary of State, not a bad concession gift.

And now it was her time again, and the Democrats wanted to feel the Bern.  It was her time….she had waited and conceded and waited and conceded and worked and waited.  Her staunch supporters helped the process unfairly by putting stumbling blocks in Bernie’s path to ensure her path to the Presidency.  She received the nod, but still turned off many in her party and still turned off White women.  I kept asking why – what is it about Hillary Clinton that so many can’t stand?  People when ask say “she lies..she has an integrity problem…her husband is horrible…” but is anything she said WORSE than what her challenger said?  White women HEARD the most vile, disgusting words EVER about women from his OWN mouth.  Yet they still chose him and rejected Hillary.

I don’t understand it, but that’s because I have never been a White woman.  I looked at what Hillary’s challenger (now the President-Elect) said throughout his campaign, and because I didn’t have a resume of public service to judge the probable success of his future performance, I judged him on HIS words.  HIS Tweets.  HIS campaign promises.  Most, in my opinion, were divisive.  Hate-filled.  Sexist. Misogynistic. Racist. Intolerant. I wasn’t ready to go from the feel-good diversity where everyone at least had the table in front of them to sit at even if they weren’t sitting there yet to Trump’s “Make America Great Again” world.  The last time someone said that in an election (Ronald Reagan), I didn’t have running water and even spent a time under his successor’s policies, CHOPPING cotton in the heat of the Mississippi Delta.  Yes, in the mid-80s.  My Black female counterparts agreed with me…and voted to show that America is still a country where everyone can be great…everyone is accepted….and differences are celebrated, but we could not counter-act the droves of Trump supporters, including Hillary Clinton’s White sisterhood, who did not agree.

At the end of the day, I’ll root for Donald Trump to be a President of all people and pray that his presidency will be the polar opposite of his dirty campaign.  I will reassure my baby that we live in a world of acceptance and love for our fellow man even if I am not so sure today.  And I will always thank Hillary Clinton for attempting to shatter the ULTIMATE glass ceiling and await the next little girl who attaches her wagon to a dream of being President of The United States.

Follow me on Twitter @soshaydee

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Trump’s Win & What That Means for Taxpayers

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With President-Elect Donald Trump getting ready to take office in January of 2017, we are bound to see some changes in tax legislation.  I am sharing the information below from Mark Luscombe, Principal Federal Tax Analyst at WK TAA on what individuals and businesses can expect. It’s a good comprehensive discussion.  I play around but as a CPA, I am also about tax law and my coins🙂.

What are some of the key components of President-elect Trump’s tax proposals?
President-elect Trump has focused his tax proposals on lowering both individual and business tax rates in order to try to stimulate economic growth.  He would reduce individual tax rates to three rates, 12, 25 and 33 percent, down from a current top rate of 39.6 percent. He would also significantly increase the standard deduction.

He has proposed repeal of the federal estate and gift tax, while disallowing stepped-up basis on gains in excess of $10 million, with exemptions for small businesses and family farms.

He has also proposed to eliminate both the individual and corporate alternative minimum tax.

President-elect Trump’s proposal to repeal the Affordable Care Act would also involve repeal of the taxes enacted as part of the ACA, including the 3.8 percent tax on net investment income.

Trump has also proposed a package of tax provisions to assist taxpayers with child care. He would create a new above-the-line deduction for child and dependent care expenses. He would also increase the Earned Income Tax Credit for working parents through a spending rebate. In addition, he has proposed the creation of Dependent CARE Savings Accounts, with individual contributions matched by a 50 percent government contribution.

On the other hand, he would put a cap on the amount of itemized deductions that higher income taxpayers could claim. He would also eliminate exemptions and the head of household filing status.

That’s a good overview of individuals.  How will this affect businesses?
On the business side, President-elect Trump has proposed to lower the top corporate tax rate to 15 percent from 35 percent and an election to apply that tax rate to all business income, such as business income from pass-through entities or sole proprietorships. The campaign has indicated that they would come up with proposals to prevent the conversion of compensation income into business income and that there would be a new tax on distributions from pass-through businesses similar to the tax on corporate dividends.

President-elect Trump has also proposed taxing the carried interest of hedge fund managers at ordinary income rates rather than capital gain rates.

To help pay for the lower business tax rates, unspecified “corporate tax expenditures” would be eliminated, except that the Research and Development credit was identified as one that would be preserved.

Trump has proposed eliminating the deduction of interest expenses. Businesses would instead be able to immediately deduct all new investments in the business.

In order to spur infrastructure spending, he has proposed tax incentives to encourage public-private partnerships to build infrastructure.

In support of his child care initiatives on the individual side, he has also proposed to increase the annual cap for the business tax credit for on-site childcare, with a reduced recapture period.

For small businesses, President-elect Trump has proposed doubling the small business expense election limit.

With respect to international taxes, he has proposed a deemed repatriation of corporate profits held offshore at a tax rate of 10 percent.

How likely is he to get his tax policy implemented?
President-elect Trump modified some of his proposals to match more closely tax reform proposals that had been developed by the Republicans in Congress. His proposals still are projected to produce greater deficits than many Republicans in Congress may support. Many of his proposals may receive general Republican Congressional support with modifications to try to make them more revenue neutral. In the Senate especially, he will also still have to deal with Democrats who have very different policy priorities.

If his tax proposals are implemented, what is the timing?
President-elect Trump has said that his plans for the first 100 days in office include working on four key elements of his tax proposals:

  1. Middle class tax relief and simplification,
  2. Affordable childcare and eldercare,
  3. Repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, and
  4. Tax incentives for infrastructure development.

This will not be simple to do, since even many Republicans in Congress want to address tax relief as part of overall tax reform, and the Democrats will fight to preserve the Affordable Care Act. Affordable childcare and eldercare and tax incentives for infrastructure development may be easier to get through quickly.

Do you think there is anything missing from his tax proposals?
As is generally the case with the tax proposals of presidential candidates, the proposals are announced as general concepts without a lot of details. It is not until an effort is made to put those proposals into legislative language that we start to get the details. There are a number of unanswered questions about just how some of his proposals would be implemented. So, what is missing is the details.

Aside from what is in President-elect Trump’s tax proposals, what other tax legislation is being considered by Congress at year-end or early next year?
Well, there is a package of tax provisions that expire at the end of the 2016 that Congress may try to extend. For individuals, these include tax breaks such as the college tuition and fees deduction, the mortgage debt exclusion, the mortgage interest deduction, and the credit for residential energy efficient improvements, such as insulation, door and windows, and certain home systems.

Also in the list of tax legislation before Congress is a package of retirement savings enhancements, a bill to prevent stock options from being taxed until the stock is sold, a limit on IRS asset seizure authority, an exclusion from tax for qualified student loan discharges for students who have died or suffered a permanent disability, tax breaks for 2016 flooding and hurricane victims, and a bill permitting employers to continue to offer health reimbursement arrangements to their employees without penalty.

What kind of global impact can we expect from potential tax legislation in the next year?
Congress is likely to consider fundamental tax reform in 2017, including international tax reform, with implementation of Base Erosion/Profit Shifting (or BEPS) legislation. Many of our trading partners are also implementing BEPS legislation as well, and that could have a significant impact on international tax compliance over the next few years. Efforts at reform of the US international tax system could put US multinational companies on a more equal tax footing with their competitors in other developed countries. Also, many tax proposals that have the effect of enhancing the US economy would also tend to have a beneficial effect on the global economy as well.

Follow me on Twitter @soshaydee

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Surviving Compton – A Review

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I was soooo ready for this movie, I was telling people I couldn’t hang out or be out doing ANYTHING past 6 p.m. on Saturday night.  Yes, it was that serious.  I needed to be in place at least one hour before with my snacks and wine ready to go.  The previews told me everything I needed to know about this movie – it was going to be a no-holds barred biopic of Michel’le’s (the 90s R&B singer known for her breakout album by the same name…her rocky relationship with Dre…and later her marriage to Dre’s nemesis, Suge Knight).

Michel’le felt slighted about the Straight Outta Compton movie that conveniently left her out, when the truth was she was pretty much an honorary member of NWA.  Lifetime came a knockin’….Michel’le answered…and the result was “Surviving Compton”, which premiered on Saturday night.

First off, there are a group of regular “Lifetimers” on Twitter every Saturday night, which is when Lifetime premieres new movies.  I KNEW that this movie was going to not just bring out the regulars..but a whole bunch of other people who were gonna be watching this movie.  I was not prepared for the trending of the movie, Dr. Dre, Michel’le, Straight Out of Compton, NWA, Eazy E and even Jerry Heller.  At one point, at least 7 of the trending topics belonged to this movie.

I don’t want to give away too much of what happened in the movie, but you probably know already.  Michel’le has made no secret of the abuse she suffered at the hands of Dre…and then later at the hands of Suge Knight to a lesser degree.  I also knew first hand that Dre beat the HELL out of Dee Barnes, the host of a popular 90s hip-hop show called Pump It Up because Dee sued the HELL out of him, and he pleaded no contest.  I still was NOT prepared for the graphic violence that was displayed in the movie.  When I tell you my mouth was open for 98% of the movie, I am NOT lying.

I could totally see why Dre did not want this movie made because the Internet OBLITERATED his arse.  His Twitter, IG and Facebook were in shambles because every viewer was a) reading him for filth b) running their car tires over there Beats by Dre (which was about a year or so too late since Apple now owns them and c) cussing him out for what he did to Michel’le.  Dre came off as a deadbeat, drunk arse, pot-smokin’ woman beater with multiple kids, a bad temper, and a penchant for crying.  At one point he beat Michel’le in her damn sleep.  Like who does that?  He broke her nose and I think he knocked out a tooth or seven.  And then HE started crying and she comforted HIM.  Couldn’t have been me.  I have a low tolerance for pain inflicted by a man that is supposed to love me.  I woulda have been out but not before I put something in his food.

She stayed…and endured beating after beating.  What was even MORE troubling was that Dre beat her up in front of everybody – NWA, her friends, Jerry Heller, her makeup artists and stylists, etc.  NOBODY came to her defense other than telling her she needed to leave.  Her grandmother even told her to stay because the beatings meant Dre loved her.  She ended up having a baby with him (he never referred to the baby by his name, and even said he would beat her arse if she wasn’t pregnant with is baby in one scene..and in the next scene, Michel’le came home early to find a woman (that Dre had moved in to the house while she was on tour) naked in her bed – the woman beat HER up)….and at one point, he fired a gun at her with the baby in the house.

Suge ended up helping her get out and into rehab (she got addicted to painkillers, etc. to numb the pain of Dre beating her arse).  You know it’s a rough arse movie when Suge looks like a savior!  Dre had gotten engaged to his now wife while she was in rehab.  Suge had a wife but offered her the role of side chick and in return, took care of her.  Until he broke her jaw and told her to lie and say they were playing football.  Then, he went to prison for thugging.  He ended up sending a security detail to her house, forcing her into an agreement to take care of his affairs and not see Dre, her son, or her grandmother.  He forced her into marrying him (even though he had other women that she knew about) for conjugal visits (I bet that was awful…sex with Suge looks like it would be awful).  Later she found out the marriage was fake because Suge was already married (he lied about divorcing his wife).  She finally got up the strength to leave HIM even after he pulled a gun on her…and finally took back her life.  She ended the movie with an emotional song about still being here.

I thought the movie was EXCELLENT.  I was nervous because you know Lifetime can muck up a biopic.  But ever so often, they get it right – Toni Braxton, Whitney Houston and now this one.  At first, I thought it odd that Michel’le was PHYSICALLY narrating the movie (i.e. showing up in scenes as herself, narrating) but after a while, I got used to it.  I think that may have been the only thing that I would have changed about the movie.  She should have narrated without showing up in the scenes.  All in all though…an excellent job by Lifetime and kudos for Michel’le for finally telling HER side of the story.  Even IF she ends up in a lawsuit that Dre will not win.  There is NO WAY Michel’le is lying – Tichina Arnold (who I didn’t know was her good friend) witnessed the aftermath of the beatings and there were too many details in the beatings that were depicted.  By the way, I ended up hating Dr. Dre and wishing a pox on his house.

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Enough.

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I don’t even know what to call this blog entry.  I just know I need to write because I’m angry, fed up, and disgusted.  And I’m tired…sick and tired of being sick and tired in the words of Fannie Lou Hamer.  I’ve had enough.  More than enough.

Another police officer gone rogue in a scenario we Black people know all to well.  Brother is pulled over or otherwise confronted by the police, and the police become the judge, jury AND executioner.  MY GOD…when will it stop?!  If you are a Black man (or woman) and you leave home and encounter a police officer…you may not make it back.  I remember posting something where I wondered what we could do to ensure we make it home to our families if we are stopped by the police.  We need to appear to be damn near docile.  Compliant. Submissive.  Weak.  Obedient.  Accommodating.  And not just in the “regular” sense of respecting authority but going out of our way to appear to be non-threatening so that we don’t end up dead.  And then Philando Castile, while sitting in a car, was shot and killed by a police officer in Minnesota.  His hands were up…and he was reaching for his identification.  Several bullets were pumped into the beloved cafeteria worker by a police officer and he died right in front of his girlfriend and her young daughter.

And then there was the case manager who was trying to help his mentally ill patient.  The patient had a toy truck in his hands, oblivious to what was going on around him.  The black case manager was sitting down with his hands raised.  Telling the police officer please don’t shoot, that he was gainfully employed and he was trying to help get this guy back to a group home facility.  He was shot after he got on the ground.  Thankfully, he did not die because as in all of the cases, seldom do the officers call for medical help quickly.

And then on Friday, Terrence Crutcher had his hands up as well.  Had just left night classes at a community college.  He ended up shot to death for being a “bad dude” – an assertion made by a police officer in a helicopter over the scene.  Why he was a “bad dude” is unclear but at this point, one can only assume big, black = bad dude = he has to die by gunfire.

And then today, a disabled Black man (Keith Lamont Scott) was sitting in his car reading a book and waiting on his son’s school bus in Charlotte.  His son will never see him again because he was shot and killed by the police.

So I have no answers on what we can do to ensure we don’t end up the latest story on social media…no answers on how not to have our names in hashtags next to #BlackLivesMatter….because everything I thought would save us….did not.  Black men are being shot and killed for working (selling CDs….managing the mentally ill), eating, reading a book, breathing, existing.  White men can kill up whole nightclubs of people….fire upon people in Manhattan and other major cities…shoot up theaters…schools….bomb federal buildings…kill worshippers in a church….and yet somehow, even as heinous as those crimes are….still be taken into custody ALIVE.  How does that even happen?  Makes me wanna holler.

Sadly, the only answer I have for saving ourselves is to turn white when a policeman pulls you over.  That doubles your chances of making it home alive.  Since that won’t work as a practical matter, I would remind everyone to vote in your local elections.  Get involved in the political process.  Understand who appoints the police chief and figure out how to be a part of that process.  Figure out a way to come to some type of mutual understanding  in meetings between citizens and the men in blue who solemnly vowed to serve AND PROTECT.  March and protest peacefully for required training for officers that include sensitivity, diversity and race relations. That could be a real start.  We have to do something though…because at the end of the day, EVERYBODY deserves to either come home or go to jail (if a crime is committed).  No one deserves to be handed the death penalty without a trial.  Black Lives Matter.  They do.  Every Black man that has been murdered by police officers was someone’s son, husband, father, uncle, colleague, classmate and friend.  Black Lives WILL Always Matter.  Maybe if we say it enough, the rest of America will catch on.  Or they just may be too busy being mad at Colim Kaepernick for kneeling on the truth…

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook @soshaydee

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Chest Under Construction….Again

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I’m looking at this title and thinking I could do better.  Maybe something funnier like “No New Boobs…Just Playing” or “The Girls The Girls…Will They Love Me?” or “I Got Boobs in Atlanta” ‘cept I’m not in Atlanta.  Well I’m not going to let the title of this blog worry me…I’ll just work on the content.

Headed to Denton Presby (a whole ‘nother story since my hospital of choice is right around the corner).  The only problem I have with Denton is all this construction….but maybe it’s fitting today since my chest is under construction.  My surgeon couldn’t get me in the other hospital until late October and well, I don’t need any more delays since I have delayed this a year.

For those that are new to my story, I am a two-time survivor of breast cancer (Halleluyer!).  GOD is good.  I’m still here to watch my baby grow up, argue at my husband, and kick it with my friends.  And to live out my purpose – breast cancer advocacy.  I serve as Board President of an organization that provides life-saving medical care for uninsured women diagnosed with breast cancer.  I started my own non-profit, Sock It To Cancer, providing comfort items to women in treatment for breast cancer.  I serve on the Race Committee for Komen Dallas (Survivor Tent Co-Chair) and serve on the Speaker Bureau for Dallas and Komen North Texas.  I speak one on one with those going through this battle all the time.  My pain has become my purpose.

The first battle with breast cancer was a blur….my 46 year-old mother-in-law had passed away of the disease the year prior.  My main focus was to get through the two lumpectomies (first clue that I should have had a full mastectomy!) and 6-8 weeks of radiation at age 34.  Had stop using birth control pills almost 2 years prior so I could have a baby….but that wasn’t in the cards.  And then in 2009 A.C. (after cancer), I had a little girl.  GOD is good.  And then in 2013, before her 4th birthday, breast cancer again reared its ugly head.  I had a full mastectomy, reconstruction and chemotherapy.  I lost my hair, my eyebrows and lashes, my balance, but didn’t lose my faith.  That and family and friends got me through.  I had to fight with everything that was in me because that baby deserved it.

And then, midway through my chemo treatments, one of my expanders (temporary breasts) started going bad.  I had what is called radiation dermatitis recall…my previously radiated skin started showing the effects of radiation.  The skin puckered, then turned black, then cracked and got small sores that seeped.  My surgeon said we’d watch it and maybe after chemo it would clear up.  It didn’t.  It burst open one morning and blood was everywhere.  The skin was too weak to hold the expander.  I ended up in emergency surgery with a gaping hole where my expander was supposed to be.  I wore a wound vac for 31 days…and had to have a home health care nurse come to the house 3 times a week to change the dressing on my wound.  The. Most. Painful. Thing. Ever.  My wound started healing and then the other expander puckered up and became swollen.  I asked to have it removed when it became painful.  I wanted to get rid of my Uniboob (the uglier distant cousin of the Unibrow).  I was now living life as the “not as young and the breastless”.

My plastic surgeon wanted to try again, but my body needed a break.  I had four surgeries in less than a year, and I was TIRED.  I had pretty much healed by December 2014, but decided to take some months off from visiting hospitals and emergency rooms.  Months became a year…and here I am (after those requisite pre-visits you have to have).  Sad it’s today because I had tickets to Diddy’s Bad Boy Reunion Tour (I was going to do all the all school dances, see my girl, Lil Kim, and recite “take that, take that” a few times, and I got selected to be a volunteer for the National Congressional Black Caucus Convention.  I was going to be a greeter at the dinner where I’m sure one of the Obamas was going to be in attendance.  So sad to be missing my one shot to at least be in the same room with the President.  It’s funny though because the coordinator told me she would keep me on the list for next year, and I thought, I don’t want to come next year (ha ha).  It won’t be the same, but maybe I will.  Maybe I’ll have another chance to be in the same room with the President and/or Mrs. Obama…because truthfully I don’t care who we elect, he will always be my President (they should just make him King or something and end all elections), but I digress.

I’m here…at the hospital…in the waiting room.   Ready to do this reconstruction thing all over again.  I pray that this “lat flap” (it’s an interesting google read if you care) works.  GOD is good…..And if it takes….you ain’t gon’ be able to tell me and my new girls NOTHING.  I might even be out in them streets topless under sheer shirts…..

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook @soshaydee

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About That New Movie – When The Bough Breaks

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First off, can you and I just talk for a minute on how Morris Chestnut is STILL fine as an ol’ aged Malbec?  And I’m not even sure if you supposed to AGE Malbec, but “that thane” if 55 kinds of fine!  There…now that THAT is out of the way we can talk about the movie.

Now I don’t want to give too much away in case somebody reads this..and just in case (cause y’all know I can’t hold water in a cement bucket with a top on it), I’ll go ahead and say “spoiler ahead….” even though I will try not to give anything away.

Truthfully, if you are like me, you’ve seen some version of this movie whether it was on Lifetime (Surrogate) or the big screen (Obsessed, Hand That Rocks The Cradle) but you haven’t seen it with Morris Chestnut and Regina Hall.  I was a little bit worried about Regina Hall in the lead for this movie because I “know” her as a comedic actress.  Would she be believable in this serious role and pull it off?  Well, let me put your mind at ease.  She does….in a major way.  I thought she was great.  Morris was great obviously because when is he not as the hot guy that everybody wants?  And he still looks great half naked which is a definite plus.  I swear he must be drinking the blood of 10 virgins or something because he is aging backwards.

But back to the movie (Morris old fine arse keeps distracting me).  The young actress who plays the surrogate (Jaz Sinclair) also does a great job of playing crazy.  The acting was pretty stellar with a solid cast of characters, even if you think you can predict the storyline.  Which I guess you can to some degree.  Successful couple cannot have children of their own as the wife has suffered miscarriages….intimacy is lacking as a result….down to one last frozen egg and need to find a surrogate.  Surrogate becomes pregnant.  Surrogate wants husband.  Surrogate pulls out all the stops to get the husband but the pesky wife is in the way.  There is a real twist to this movie though that I didn’t see coming (and you won’t either).  I won’t spoil it for you.  I’ll just say it’s definitely worth spending a couple of your coins to go see….if just for that fine eye candy Morris Chestnut.  Suspenseful and engaging….it didn’t even make me look at my watch.  That often LOL.  It is also set in New Orleans which is a nice twist for a movie.

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook @soshaydee

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Memories of 9/11 – What Were You Doing?

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I always wondered how people could remember exactly what they were doing with a tragedy hit…down to the last detail of what they were wearing, what the sky looked like and even the smells surrounding them.  I could remember some things when I was younger but never anything detailed.  I remember that I was watching the Challenger take off (before school) and it exploded.  I remember school being let out early because President Reagan had been shot.  But I can’t tell you what I was wearing or what anybody else around me was doing.

That all changed when 9/11 happened.  I, along with the rest of my group, had been downsized from a national accounting firm the day before, with the fake promise of “we expect things to get better after the 4th quarter, and may put this team back together”. And with that and a nice severance package, my partner and the rest of my team were packing up our stuff.  It was especially heartbreaking because I was lured away from old position with more money and business travel but the projects hadn’t materialized over an entire year.  At any rate, Tuesday, September 11, 2001, I had nowhere to be and could sleep in for the first time in years on a weekday but woke up early anyway.  Conditioning I guess.

I was listening to a local urban radio station (K104) as I usually did on my drive to work except it was on the radio.  They casually announced that a plane had hit the World Trade Center in New York.  I seriously thought “some fool daredevil in a little plan has run into the World Trade Center trying to make the news”.  I turned on the tv, and remember rubbing my eyes trying to fully wake up.  I saw the burning hole in the side of the building…and as I was watching, I saw another plane…and I was thinking ‘wow that other plane is flying very low…..why is it flying so low…’ and right in front of my eyes….it went through the building!  I could not believe it.  I stood there silent and shocked.

And then there was a split screen on my tv that showed the Pentagon on fire.  Apparently, it had been hit by a plane too.  I remember thinking “oh my GOD, we are under some kind of attack” and thinking about all the other planes out there and wondering what other buildings would be hit.  And then as the news started to pour in about it being a terrorist attack, I got ANGRY.  I was soooo angry.  I wanted to sign back up for the military and FIGHT whoever it was that was behind this tragedy where so many innocent people were killed.  How dare they bring their behinds over HERE on U.S. soil and use our own airline system and planes against us?

I was glued to the tv…could not pull myself away but called all my family members.  I worried about friends and coworkers in NYC….worried about my husband who was near downtown.  I prayed about 100 times.  I was sure that the Bank of America building in Dallas would be hit.  The phone lines were a mess…calls were not going through…and I remember breathing a sigh of relief every time I discovered that someone else was okay.  I was really, really worried about my college friend Tonya in DC.  I would later learn that she had to walk home.  For SEVERAL miles.  And if you know my friend Tonya, you would know that she likely had to do it barefoot because she always wore heels.

I was relieved to find out that all planes were grounded quickly but nervous that there were a few that were unaccounted for.  One by one, they all came in…except for one.  I was devastated when that plane later crashed in Pennsylvania.  The passengers on board got wind of what had happened with the other three planes and tried to take that one back from the terrorists and the plane had gone down.  More lives lost.  I remember the news stories all that day of people who died on the planes….people who died in the buildings that were hit….people who jumped to their deaths from the burning buildings.  Saw the images….  Saw both of the towers come tumbling down, their foundations and structures weakened by the burning metal.  Cried for the emergency personnel who had gone in to save others who died as well.  It was truly a tragedy where so many and so much died that day.  My naivete about enemies and people hating us definitely died.  I realized that wars were not always waged in foreign lands…and that other people could come to this country and kill us.  And that the weapons didn’t always have to be bombs, or guns, or some type of gassing agent.  But in the wake of that tragedy, I also learned about resilience.  I saw acts of kindness I had never before witnessed and a coming together of this country I had never seen.  And then as time passed, things went back to normal.  Crimes, murders, hate, racism….And here we are 15 years later.

I have NEVER forgotten though.  And I will NEVER forget.  WE WILL NEVER FORGET.  Follow me on Facebook and Twitter @soshaydee

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