Hope Saved on a Laptop

I am a voracious reader.  Books, magazines, newspapers, Internet info, etc.  Lots of trivia for the head and most of it doesn’t stick.  Although this past week, on Wednesday the 17th, I read an article in the New York Times, front page, that I can’t get out of my head. 

The article was called Hope Saved on a Laptop.  I’d link to the NY Times but unfortunately you can’t access it unless you are a Times Select member.  That would be a person having to pay for content that was written yesterday.  Totally ridiculous so I am not a member even though I do get the Times delivered daily.  If you do get the Times delivered daily you can be a member for free but only if the Times actually is your carrier.  I got rid of them as a carrier and use a local carrier because they are incapable of delivering the Times on a regular basis.  Enough of that, I want to write about this particular article.

Dan Barry wrote about a family that lost their daughter on 9/11 from North Dakota.  Their daughter had come to NYC full of hope and dreams.  She was thrilled to be working on the 108th floor of the World Trade Towers for Cantor Fitzgerald.  When the parents lost their daughter, her laptop was given to them as part of her valuables. 

The parents were not really computer savvy and they were mourning.  The computer remained untouched since they received it. Recently the mother turned the computer on.  She found a list of 100 things that her daughter wanted to do.  Things from making a quilt to seeing a special place with her father to learning to do something.  Pictures were on her laptop of friends and family.  Her life.  Slowly her mother began to use the computer.  She played games on it.  She used it to feel connected again to her daughter. 

I found the article incredibly touching and heartfelt.  A real slice of life story.  It has stuck with me for days and will probably continue to.  It made me cry. 

9/11 was almost five years ago but it has been a very short five years.  That day is etched in my mind forever.  I can still recall the entire day from beginning to end.  Living in downtown NYC was surreal.  The image of people literally walking dazed thru the streets covered in dust comes back in a heartbeat.  We were living in a war zone that day.  We were lucky that no one in our immediate group of family and friends were lost.

Yet, when I read any article of families and how that day changed their life how they lost a child or sibling or friend, it just pulls me back to that day all over again. 

As movies and books continue to come out on the topic, I personally find the movies previews even difficult to watch.  They bring instant tears to my mind.  Book wise, I have only read one book that I found really moving that made me cry which was Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Foer.  Perhaps because it is a through a child’s eyes.  My children lived through that day and I know it is indelibly inked in their minds forever.

I think the other thing that I really liked about the article is the laptop part.  We know longer have diaries, we have laptops.  Our diaries are on line.  We can have live conversations taped on line about our favorites topics, or our favorite music  – podcasts.  Our lives can be eternal in the world through the digital age.  Even though we are not able to live forever, our lives can.  What a wonderful thing that this young woman’s parents are able to tap into her abruptly cut short life and capture her words, her pictures, her thoughts that have been left with access to,  forever.