Like many of you with WordPress hosted blogs, I stumbled upon the blog Project 2996 this morning. I had been battling with a way to honor this date, not sure how I could do it in a way that I felt would focus on the people and not on me. So I went to the list of people without tributes and sat. How could I possibly pick just one name out of all of these? Should I just pick a number? No, I hit CTRL F and typed in my name, the way that I spell it, with just one ‘L’. I started clicking through the results, wondering how I would narrow down further when I came across Michele Reed, 26.
Something about her stuck out to me, so I started my research.
She graduated from Norwich High School in 1993 and her classmates talk about her adventures. She was a free-spirited loving person with a smile that everyone who writes on her memorial wall at legacy.com remembers to this day. From reading all of the pages of tributes to her on that site I learned that her birthday was July 9th and her favorite flower was the tulip. Numerous people mention her Geo Tracker, with Grateful dead decals. Including, a man she shared her morning commute with:
September 11, 2006
You don’t know me, but I’m the guy who stood about 3 feet from you every morning at the North Branch train station. We never met except to exchange the daily 1/2 nod and smile. My heart sank the night after 9/11 when I saw your car (the Geo Tracker with the Grateful Dead style decals) still in the lot with the note on it from your family. It was still there that Sunday when we placed flowers on the windshield. And then, perhaps saddest of all, it just disappeared one day.
Anyway, 5 years down the road I have to admit that every once in a while as the gate comes down when the 7:10 train approaches I remember you standing there. How things changed in a few short hours…how you and so many others were lost so quickly.
I pray that you are at peace and I promise to pay my respects the next time the gate comes down for the 7:10.
(BTW, you’d be pleased to know that they finally built a platform…now we don’t have to wait in the middle of the road)
Branchburg, New Jersey
She worked for AON on the 100th floor of the South Tower, and one co-worker talks about remember the smell of apple cider that she would cook at her desk in a small crock-pot. Michele Reed’s idea of a good time was getting muddy in her ATV. On weekends, Michele and her twin sister, Jennifer, would escape the city for their family’s dairy farm in Plymouth, N.Y. Her aunt talks about a boyfriend who had started coming with her. From the legacy site I learned his name is Robert:
September 11, 2009
Hi hun im sorry it took me eight years to write something about you, but the pain is still as it was the first day. I still wake up every day and think about you and when i close my eyes at night. I miss you so very much and often wonder what it would have been like to have married you because you were such an awesome women. The time we spent together can never be replaced and was the best times of my life. I LOVE YOU AND ALWAYS WILL. YOU WERE MY SOUL MATE.
According to one friend, there have been many tributes to her in the form of scholarships at Norwich High School and Cazenovia College. Also tributes in the park in Norwich and a wing at the yet-to-be built community building in Ringoes will bear her name. Those that remember her and speak of her, paint a picture of a friendly, warm woman who I would have loved to have been friends with. She sounds sincere and open, like she never met a stranger in her life. Always willing to bring someone along for her next adventure.
September 09, 2005
I remember your smile, it was warming.
I remember your laugh, it was contagious.
I remember your kindness, it was sincere.
I remember your sense of humor, it was refreshing.
I remember so much. So many of us do.
And we will not forget you.
No matter what time in our lives you touched, we will always carry you in our hearts, forward.