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And here we are again.

September 11th.

7 years later.

I remember that day and all its horrors so vividly. I remember the endless aching that followed as I and everyone else futilely tried to make sense of something so violent and cruel and of course, completely senseless.

I remember pouring over the “New York Times’ Portraits of Grief” where the paper honored each and every victim with poignant, beautiful details of their lives.

And for some reason, Michele Coyle-Eulau always stuck with me. I didn’t know her. Only what I read. She had three sons, 2, 5 and 7 years-old.

Matthew, Mark and Eric.  The children who were waiting for her to come home that day.

She was a working mom, who juggled a full and hectic schedule, including a three day a week job as a systems analyst. She worked one day from home and two days on the 96th floor of Tower One. The World Trade Center.

She was 38 years-old.

At night her husband would yell out to her, “Michelle, it’s 11 o’clock! Could you just come to bed?”

And the piece ended like this…

What took her so long to get to bed? Packing lunches, making grocery lists, arranging play dates. “I never understood,” her husband said. “Now I do.”

For seven years I’ve been thinking of Michele and her family.

I’m absolutely sure that I always will.

And not a day goes by that I don’t hear the roar of an engine, look up and notice a plane flying high above New York City.

I’m usually pushing my stroller down the street or sitting at the playground or hurrying to find a cab.

I always look up.  And I always think of that day and the nearly 3,000 victims who were robbed of their lives.

Every single day.

There is no forgetting.

And I don’t want to.

34 Responses to remembering michele

  • calikim says:

    Thank you!! We shouldn’t forget, but it seems as they years go by, the Anniversary is suddenly becoming non existent. I am sure it is different for you being right in the heart of NYC where the events took place, but this is almost the first thing I have heard about it this year. Today I was making schedules for work and I realized…hmmm…tomorrow is September 11th. My immediate thought was how I hadn’t heard anything about it. I guess that saying “time heals all wounds” might be true….but in this case….We will NEVER FORGET!!

  • susan kintner says:

    Thank you Kelcey for the important reminder that life is a gift and to cherish each waking moment. In honor of Michele and her family, I dedicate this day to living in the present moment and to viewing all beings with love and compassion. Many blessings, momala

  • Robin says:

    Well, thanks for bringing me to tears this morning! Seriously, thanks for the reminder and for honoring Michele and her family along with so many other families. My brother was late to work that day to one of the lower complex buildings – thank god he’s never been an early riser – and I am so grateful. And sorry. Sorry for all those families who suffered losses on that day. Thanks, Kelc.

  • Aimee says:

    Here Here my sista friend!
    It was a hard day for America, a harder day for NYC, and the hardest for the families that lost loved ones that day! I waited 8 hours to find out that my boyfriend at the time had lived–it was the longest 8 hours of my life—and I will never forget the fear—Living in NYC it could have been any one of us and any one of our loved ones. People often say we don’t have the right to grieve unless we lost someone we knew—but we did lose someone we knew and loved–the old NYC–for it is forever changed.

  • Becky says:

    I’m glad you posted this and haven’t forgotten.
    Even though I’m in Wisconsin and never knew anyone who lost a loved one in the tragedy, I also don’t forget.

    But I think so many have.

    So thanks again for your post.

  • Jessi says:

    it would be stories like this that make it just a tad less harder for my family as we sit here counting every tick of the clock waiting on my sister to return home from her deployment in Iraq. Thank you for your story today. (hugs)

  • Toni says:

    While the news media may think it is unworthy to remember, I don’t believe any of us will forget. I have been thinking for a month that “the anniversary” was coming up. Last night we were talking about it. This morning we woke with a heavy heart, praying for those that still hurt and still miss their loved ones. We also woke up grateful for all the blessings we are given each day.

  • Wow. What a story. I often remember Lisa Beamer, the wife of Todd Beamer who was on the plane that went down in the field in PA. I read her book and related so much to her life. Awful, awful, awful. thanks for this tribute.

  • Mama Duck says:

    I would bet that this event is similar to the day our parents experienced when JFK was assinated. Everyone remembers EXACTLY where the were and what they were doing the moment they heard the news. Thank you for posting such a wonderful rememberance. It amazing how people we never meet touch our lives so drastically. I will never forget.

  • mayberry says:

    I remember reading every last one of those Portraits of Grief, and feeling like it was the least I could do, to focus on those people and those families for the few minutes it took to read.

  • I remember going to NYC December 2001 and walking around and reading the memorials. There is one, like yours that I will never forget. It was a set of darts hanging on the fency and a note that said, “next game is on me”. Still gives me chills to this day. Thanks for the tribute.

  • Aunt Marcia (Guess Whose?) says:

    The Holocaust, Pres. Kennedy Assassination, 9/11 – It seems every generation has their own ‘Never Forget’ moment. I’ve lived during all three…all man-made disasters. Let’s hope the little children you’re all raising now…will only be able to ‘remember’ these from their History Books…and not have to live through them moment by moment in person or on t.v. The horror/sadness is over-whelming; whether you’ve lost someone personally or not…

  • Jodi says:

    Wow, it does seem like just yesterday…….whenever I think of that date, it reminds me how lucky I am to have my family and friends and that nothing else really matters. Thanks for your beautiful post!

  • Portia says:

    Thank you Kelcey…this was such a wonderful tribute. I cried my way home every night this week seeing those lights light up the sky marking the place where my twin towers should be. The loss of life will never escape me. On Sept. 11 2001…I had gotten off of a plane from Chicago…earlier…about 1AM…I went home and then awakened to the most horrible tragedy in my lifetime. My friends sister was in Tower 1(never found her remains), two paramedics I worked with died, and one of the orthopedic surgeons I work with lost his brother…who worked for Cantor-Fitzgerald. As stated several times earlier… I too remember the irony of what a PERFECT day it was that day…I mean across the entire country! It was so strange! I will NEVER EVER forget and as Aimee so eloquently put…I also grieve for the loss of the way things used to be…in NYC AND the world.

  • Tully's Mama says:

    Lived in Oregon at the time of the tragedy but my baby sister was a Fordham student in the Bronx. We knew she was far enough away to be safe but my heart still leaped from my chest when I heard about it, then saw all the horrific footage that is forever engrained in our memories. All those families and their terrible losses. The unthinkable happened and we will never forget. Thank you for remembering, Kelcey. Beautiful piece.

  • JoLynn says:

    Good job Kelcey!!! My heart alway’s hurt’s whenever I think of that day! My oldest son and I watched the second plane hit and it has made a mark in our heart’s and live’s forever!

  • tracey says:

    Though most of us can exist on a daily basis without obssessing about it, 9/11 will remain an integral part of thousands of people’s lives. Forming their very being by the losses they experienced…

  • kristen says:

    I made my friends stop on the trail at 8:50am on the 11th and remember. I talked about that day, which I will never forget and about how it affected our lives thereafter.

kelcey kintner