The attacks of 9/11 will never be forgotten, nor will most of us forget what we were doing, where we were, or the feelings that flooded through us when we first heard the news. Our thoughts, fears, feelings, and ideals were solid, etched in stone. For some of us that hadn’t known someone murdered that day, time has a way of wearing those firm and definite edges away, dulling some of those memories. Not good.
I did not know anyone taken that day. But I heard about a special project, 2,996 Tribute*, and signed up. I drew Rahma Salie. I’ve only “known” her for a couple of weeks, but her death has affected me. Deeply.
Rahma, of Sri Lankan descent, was born to Yuseff and Haleema Salie in Japan, February, 1973. She went to an international school there, before coming here in 1992, to Wellesley College, where she majored in International Relations, and Japanese studies. She was a consultant in an IT firm, and rose to the position of Chief Operating Officer.
While attending Wellesley, Rahma met Michael Theodoridis, who was attending Boston University. They fell in love, and Michael, a Greek Orthodox Christian, converted to Islam before marrying his bride in 1998. “They were very much in love. They wouldn’t do anything without each other,” her father said. “There was never anything but a smile on their faces.” One article I read called them inseparable.
When I first saw the picture of Rahma, I couldn’t help but grin. You can see the love she’s got for her husband, but you could also look at her, and just know that she was someone that you wanted to know. Needed to know. One of her Wellesley schoolmates said in a forum, “I bet you could also hear the sound of her laugh while looking at her picture.” I could.
She was a very outgoing person, leaving a positive impression on all that she met. Vibrant, successful, hardworking, and driven. Sweet, radiant, loyal, and loving. All words that were used to describe her. I really would have liked to meet her.
On September 11, 2001, Rahma and Michael boarded American Airlines Flight 11, heading to Los Angeles for a friend’s wedding. They were not alone. Rahma was seven months pregnant with their first child.
Many of the sites providing lists provide vague info, such as: Rahma Salie was from Boston. Or, Rahma Salie, expectant mother, and consultant. It bugs me. She deserved much more.
Rahma, you will not be forgotten by me. I wish I had known you, sister.
So the first actual* day back in the office after holiday vacation, I’m sitting in a meeting with a couple of coworkers and we’re joking around about how it’s been so long since we were in the office that we forgot people’s names. After watching one guy wrack his brains trying to remember something in an app that we use everyday..
Manager: Wait, you couldn’t remember that?
Coworker: Yeah…I know.
Me: Maybe we should have a quiz in next week’s meeting. With tough questions about people’s names and stuff.
Manager: Sure! Questions like “What do you call your boss?”
Me: You might want to phrase that question a little differently.
Everybody laughed but…dammit. This stuff is gonna come back to haunt me, I just know it.
For the first time in too many years, I actually did send out some Christmas cards. Not as many as I’d like, though… turned out to be a larger project than I had anticipated.
A few months ago, I finally stooped to buying some readers. Yeah, farkin’ READING GLASSES. The corker? When I was trying to read the price on the pair I bought, I had to put on another pair to see what the gott damned tag said. This has seriously pissed me off. One month, I can see… the next, I’m trying to decipher ink smudges.
As I was filling out the cards, I was quietly going nuts. Clear, blurry, clear, blurry, blurrily clear, clearly blurry. By the time I made it through a couple of boxes, my head was pounding. And not so much from the eye strain… it was more from the clenched teeth. Stupid dumbhead eyes!
Fat Dude… if you head through Gangland this evening, would you please bring me some new peepers? Thanks.
In the same week that a “pro” football player blames God for a dropped pass on Twitter, it was both warming and heart breaking to see a friend (who had just lost her father to cancer) post a status update on Facebook, thanking God for giving her a great father and a hero. She also asked that He give him a big hug when he got there.
The past couple of days at work have been individual meetings with management, discussing wage “adjustments”, and future plans for each employee. It was brought to our attention, long before this week, that not everyone would get a raise. Without a word being said, you could tell who made out, and who was left out. A friend and I started talking about the easiest way to tell who didn’t get a raise… look for the guy who looked like his puppy just died.
This morning, it occurred to me that there sure were a lot of “dead puppies” around…. and the next thing I know, the tune was stuck.