New York

I’ll never forget that moment…the day, the time, what I was doing, this is a memory deeply embedded in my mind.

That Tuesday morning was a typical morning…getting up, dressed, breakfast was eaten then I began my school work. See, I was 16 and just began homeschooling due to losing my sight and being a full semester behind. In order to catch up and graduate on time my parents enrolled me in a charter high school. This allowed me to not only get caught up, but to finish school a full semester ahead of my class. This also ensured that technically no school was missed when needing to be at doctors appointments or while in surgeries.

Trigonometry, this was the subject that was educating my brain. The time was 9:17am, my thought process was interrupted by the phone. Three rings in and I answer it to hear my Dad’s voice on the receiving end.

Dad…”Hey kiddo, how’s your day so far?”

Me…”Pretty good, just doing some trig. What’s up?”

Dad…”Turn on the news kiddo, and prepare yourself.”

Me…”Okay….”

While the big screen picture was a blur, the voices of newscasters were crystal clear. Every channel, one breaking news headline…

A hijacked plane just crashed into one of the Twin Towers in New York.

My heart sunk into the pit of my stomach, tears welled up in my eyes, my voice brokenly asking my Dad, “Who did this?” Him replying with that word made me shake.

Terrorists.

As he told me to not worry about my schoolwork, to just take the day, I was in another state of mind. My young mind was trying to fathom how anyone could perform this horrible act, why anyone would perform this horrible act. Then my mind shifted to lives that were in danger, the lives lost. While I have always been told that I was the 16 year old going on 30, my mind just couldn’t handle the immensity of this tragic crime that my ears were absorbing. My heart was already in a fragile state, this just broke it right down the center.

My heart holds a special place for New York, the diverse culture, the people, the New York atmosphere is just beautiful. Back in 2006, my Mom and I spent a few days in NY, we signed up for a tour of Manhattan. Walking the city with a group, our guide sharing facts from historical to pop culture and everything in between. From seeing the infamous bull statue on Wall Street to Trinity Church. Along the way we made our way to Ground Zero. Standing there, I just froze. The emotional state I entered was unfamiliar territory, I was trying to soak it all in. The tour guide was speaking, however, all I heard was a buzzing in my ears. To also see the plaques, the faces and names of the brave humans who rushed in to help, to rescue. To see the names of those lost souls.

I have witnessed so many life changing moments in my 33 years of existence, However, none have ever compared to Tuesday, September 11, 2001.

Never Forget. ❤

In New York, concrete jungles where dreams are made of, there’s nothin’ you can’t do…These streets will make you feel brand new, big lights will inspire you. Let’s hear it for New York… -Jay-Z ft. Alicia Keys

Aim to Kill?

In the past few months ISIS has hit two targets and ruthlessly taken too many innocent souls from their loved ones. Paris and San Bernardino, two recent tragic events that, well, lets face it, didn’t have to happen. Over the holidays my sister and I had a couple of interesting debates on what we would do if placed in a situation were our lives where at risk. A variety of scenarios hypothesized and the results, well, interesting. What brought up these conversations was watching President Obama give his last State of The Union speech. When it came to the topic about ISIS Obama stated, “ISIS needs to be rooted out and destroyed”…

Round One: Do you agree with Obama?

Lu… “No, I don’t agree that we need to root them out and kill them. We need to love them, share the good word about God with them and help them to turn their lives around. Yes, what they’re doing is wrong, but they are still human. Who are we to decide to take action in taking their lives…”

Derra… “Sorry chica, but I agree with Obama. I hate the idea of taking innocent lives. ISIS followers are not innocent. These monsters are going around and taking the innocent. On this particular subject, destruction may be the only action that they understand. Now I’m not naïve in any way, I realize that even if one day ISIS is no more that doesn’t mean there will no longer be any type of terrorist group. There is always going to be some monstrous souls out there who’s purpose, for whatever reason, is to place fear into our lives, but hopefully the percentage of this insane intensity will lessen. Not every person is going to respond to love and God, some hearts prefer to remain hardened. “…

Round Two: What would you do if you found yourself at a place that ISIS attacked? If a terrorist had a gun aimed at you, a loved one or an innocent victim, would you shoot to kill? (I even added that we both carried guns in our purses for protection, so yeah, I weaponized us 😉 )

Lu… “No, I wouldn’t shoot to kill. What if God didn’t want me to use my gun in this case. What if I’m not meant to take that life. Maybe its my time to be called to heaven and this just happens to be how I go out. If I’m not meant to say goodbye to this life yet, then God will protect me from any terrorist and his weapon.”

I switched my scenario to her a touch and asked if she would shoot possibly an arm or leg. A body pat that would give her enough time to get away … her response..

Lu… “yes, that is more likely to be what I would do if I were to shoot . A distraction rather killing. However, I would stay behind while the other victims got away and share the good word waiting for help to arrive.”

As my ears absorbed what my sister was saying my eyes widened at her response as far as staying behind. You’ll have to know that all my mind kept repeating was a vision of my baby sister staying behind with  a wounded terrorist. I wanted so badly to change her mind, but the Sabo women have a stubborn streak thats indestructible. Once a decision has been cemented into their minds that’s it, you can talk ’til you’re blue in the face. The only thing that will change is the color of your face.

My Response…

Derra…” Ok, so let me just organize the facts here. I have a ISIS terrorist aiming a gun at either my head, a loved on of mine or an innocent soul… do I take the 22 from my purse and shoot to kill or distract. Well, the thought of taking a life and forever staining my hands with their blood terrifies my core… so with that said, I’d shoot to kill. I’m sorry, but no matter how scared I might be, a life is at stake and If I can do something to save anyone, then yes, I’m aiming at the head or chest. And no, I’m not sticking around to see if the dudes ok, I will however search to make sure everyone has gotten out and that anyone who needs help gets it. I would rather live with a reoccurring nightmare of me shooting” one” than multiple innocent victims dyeing around me as I do nothing.”

Needless to say, we agreed to disagree on what’s right and what’s wrong with each of our responses then got some Chinese for lunch and went about our day with other discussions.

I will do whatever I need to do to protect any innocent human, whether I know them or not, but I will especially do whatever I need to do to protect my loved ones (family and friends). Heres how I look at it… if you don’t want to get shot then don’t aim a gun at me.

What would you do? Would you aim to kill?

Until next blog… Love Derra ❤