Archive | September 2013

9/11: My Mom In Loving Memory

In September of 2001, I was working in the airline industry: an affiliate of American Airlines–working as a technical writer in the documentation and training department.

I was 27 years-old.

I grew up as an airline brat. My mom worked for AA, so I spent most of my childhood and adulthood traveling on the proverbial shoe string, and I was very lucky to have had the opportunities I had.

That morning started off like any other. I drove to work listening to my Sade tape singing to myself. I wasn’t thinking much.

What I do remember is that I didn’t hear anything until later in the morning. A meeting with a software developer yielded these words: “Did you hear about those American Airlines flights that crashed into the World Trade Center?”

I called my mom immediately. I knew she worked nights, and I remember thinking that I hated to wake her.

Me: Mom? Mommy? I need you to wake up!

Mom: What’s wrong?

Me: I need you turn on the television right now.

Mom: Oh God. Leave from work when you can and go straight home.

In my offices, we waited. As the DFW airspace quieted. As the United flight hit Pennsylvania. We waited. Watched. Hoped.

Talk in our office was desultory.


My mother wasted no time in figuring out what she could do to help, She applied for a position within American working on the CARE team: assisting those families of the victims of the AA flights.

Of that time, she said very little. I knew she could say very little, so I did my best to ask how she was and to be supportive.

I cannot even imagine how hard that must have been. My Mom had a big heart–the biggest. Especially when there were children involved. She gave of herself, and nothing was too big for her heart to handle. Her empathy and her kindness are two of the gifts I hope to have inherited from her.


Over the years, Mom became an avid student of the events of that day documentaries, movies, interviews. Flight 9 really affected her.

And then we had this conversation:

Mom: If something should happen, you call me. I will be there.

Me: I don’t want to think about that.

Mom: Well, just in case (her favorite expression). I would stay with you. You wouldn’t be alone. I would always be with you.


On behalf of the askourmoms family, we offer all of y’all our support and comfort for all of you on this day.

CARE Team-001

(Mom Badge)

With love,

Meme and Bu