At 7:30 this morning, I started being gently pulled from my sleep by these words. I had worked late into the night, and had fallen asleep on the couch watching CNN. As the fog cleared from my eyes, I sat up and watched the coverage, channel surfing to see what the other stations were reporting. I felt a deep sadness in my gut as images of the Twin Towers flashed through my head. I hate terror and the bastards behind it.
At precisely 7:39, my phone rang. It was Mom.
"You need to get up and turn on the news," she said, in her deepest, most doom-ridden voice.
"I'm watching it," I replied blandly.
"So you're cancelling your trip then?"
"Well, you and Dani should DEFINITELY cancel your trip to London!"
"Mom, London is probably safer now than it was yesterday. It's very unlikely that there will be another attack after this morning's. Besides, Dani and I will be there on a Saturday. Terrorists generally target busy commuter areas on business days."
Mom was beside herself. She can't believe we'd be so flip about it. She wonders how we can possibly be so irresponsible. I said, "Mom. I refuse to be afraid. I am NOT afraid. I'm aware, and I'm cautious, but I will not change my life because of fear."
She continued the conversation by saying that she wished Dani and I wouldn't travel alone to London. "For some reason, I'd just feel better if Darren was with you." Then she said that she's been uncomfortable all along that we're going to Ireland. "You're flying in and out of Dublin?" she asked. When I said yes, she lamented, "I wish you wouldn't. Northern Ireland is just not safe!"
I explained to her that Dublin is not in Northern Ireland, but I didn't bother telling her that I'd probably be safer there than I am here in the inner city of Fort Worth. No need to give my poor Mom heart failure.
I won't be taking the tube (it'll likely still be closed, anyway), but I won't cancel my trip. I'll see a different London than I would have last week, but I won't let that slow me down. I'll be empathetic to London's loss, but I won't be distraught. I'll be more aware and less fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants-y, but I. Will. Not. Be. Afraid.