Thursday, September 11, 2008


Ever the optimist, there are just times in our lives when saddness just truly prevails. There's just no silver lining here. My Dad was an ironworker who worked on the twin towers while they were being put up in the 70s. What an event that was here in New York during that time! Our city was going to possess the highest building in the world, and not one but two! My father was so proud to work on those buildings and we were so proud to brag about it!
Fast forward to 9-11. So many stories: a friend who stopped for a bagel on the way to work in the towers and missed it; my sister-in-law's friend was late for work and, after coming out of the subway, thought there was another parade going on, a couple of good friends who were caught in the towers and who made it out; we know three people who did not.

Closest to us was our friend Patrick. A firefighter, he was there on the first attack in 1993. I had a cousin who was in the building that day, quit her job and moved to Vermont. Pat remained in an elevator with a bunch of school kids who were there on a class trip. He got them to safety.

In 2001, Pat had the day off. He had switched shifts with his best buddy so he could take his son to his first day of nursery school. The buddy, as well as 5 others from his firehouse, passed away. Pat took on the role of being a surrogate Dad to all their children and was an advocate for all the firefighters from his house.

In the spring of 2002, at the age of 40, Pat went for routine vascular surgery and had a fatal heart attack in recovery. The autopsy uncovered the fact that he had been suffering from sarcoidosis defined as "a disease of unknown cause, characterized by granulomatous tubercles of the skin, lymph nodes, lungs, eyes, and other structures." His lymph nodes were all inflamed and had moved into his heart cavity; his heart was unable to regain function.

But this disease was not of unknown cause. It was from the guilt of not being there on 9-11 and taking on so much responsibility for his men. That winter we had seen him running himself ragged and one of our friends said, "So when do you stop?" And he responded, "Never. They were my brothers."

My husband and I had never lost one of our group. It was one of the saddest times of our lives, you thought you were past it, looking forward. And then this. Pat may not haved technically died on 9-11 but he is another casualty of it.

So, Patrick, today I remember you, our dear friend. We love you.


bj said...

Oh, Tara...I've done nothing but cry all day long. Such a sad event and none of us....NONE OF US....will ever forget it. We must not forget, lest it happen again. We have to be on constant watch and I think Mr. McCain will do that for us. I pray every day and night that he will be elected.

I know you are so sad today and please know that I am holding you tight with my heart.

love, bj

dana said...

It is so nice to meet you via Laura's blog Amongst the Oaks. What a moving story you have shared on your post. This is a day where are hearts are very heavy. We need to have the day marked in all the special ways we do---because so many of us forget the horror that happened on 9/11/01. Thank you for taking the time to share your special tribute to us. Dana

dana said...

Sorry--of course I meant to say "Thank you for sharing your special tribute WITH us."

I am terrible about hitting that PUBLISH button tooooo soon. dana

JeannieTheDreamer said...

I am with you

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing that Tara. My parents are again in NYC this week. My thoughts and prayers are with you, your family and friends.

Donna said...

Wow, what a story, Tara. It's so sad. How nice of you to post this in remembrance of Patrick.


Lori said...

Tara, Thank you for your words today. So many were touched in so many ways. Love, Lori

Holly (Nickname) said...

oh 'Tara!!
My heart goes out to you and everyone who lost a loved one in this national tragedy...we lost a few in our town too and it is hard to believe it has been 7 years,,,it feels like yesterday!
I remember cars at train stations that no one came home to, and the feeling of hope and despair as we waited....just horrible! May God bless you and all who were affected by this tragedy.He is in control and loves us more than we can even imagine!
Stay strong, dear friend!!!
xxxooo Ruth

Holly (Nickname) said...

p.s. I agree with DEAR BJ!!!

tales from an O.C. cottage said...

I have no words....

M ^..^

Life on Bonnie Lane said...

I am so sorry for the loss of your friend. You're right, even though it didn't happen that day, he was certainly a casualty of 9/11. What a heroic man though! I'm sure you have wonderful memories.


Susie Q said...

Oh Tara...I am so sorry for your great loss. And thank you for sharing all your memories of the towers, September 11th and of your friend Patrick.
Bless you.


Jillian said...

Thank you for the tribute, today. I also paid tribute on my blog today. I didn't mention in my blog that my brother in law worked in building number three and saw much of the horrors of that day. They all made it out before their building collapsed but who knows how the memories of that day affect him.


Cori G. said...

HI Tara,
I'm so sorry to hear about your friend Patrick. That must have been so devastating for you and your husband. Especially after everything else.
My brother-in-law's sister worked in the twin towers and had just been laid off. Cleaned her office out the day before. She was very thankful as were we. Life is sometimes filled with so much heartache.
Praying for you and yours.
XO Cori

pve design said...

Life can change all too swiftly. May all those who suffer from that day as well as those who live with the loss remember the good. Long live the hearts of those who must be remembered with glory.

CIELO said...

Good morning, Tara... how can anyone forget that horrible day.... so many sad things in this world, we need our Saviour to come!

May the morning light feed your heart and guide your life...


Self Confessed Lamp Tramp said...

Such a sad story about Patrick. My prayers and thanks go out to Patrick's family, other 9/11 victim's families and yours. God Bless all of you. There are no other words I can give to comfort all of you other than " Thank you so much, I'm so sorry for you horrible loss!"

Mary said...

So many tears, so many lives forever changed. Thank you for this moving tribute.

Colleen formerly of South Africa said...

I teared up reading your blog. Thanks for sharing. So that noone will ever forget.

A Romantic Porch said...

Tara, So sad. I know you have relived the grief this week. I am sorry. xo rachel