Remember is the most important word in the English dictionary, I have been told and I believe its true. I wanted to post this yesterday but was unable. I hope my feelings about this experience do justice to your memory.
My best friend, Stephanie, emailed me your name a few weeks ago and requested I write a tribute to you on our blog. Excited about the project I enthusiastically agreed. However in the pre-semester rush I neglected to do as promised. Yesterday, on the five year anniversary of that fateful day, I remembered...You.
You, Timothy Robert Hughes, led an amazing life. You had a loving wife (Karen), two handsome sons (Tim and Ken) and a beautiful daughter (Chrissy) who love and continue to remember you everyday. I was grateful to see several websites dedicated to your memory. I think one of my greatest fears is that those I love will forget me. That somehow my memory or memories I made with them will become unimportant or meaningless. That is one thing, Timothy, you will never have to worry about.
Newsday.com had this to say about you:
For Timothy Robert Hughes, a currency trader with Cantor Fitzgerald, the significant pleasures of life focused on two very basic things - family and work.
"He was a real family man," said his wife, Karen Hughes. "He was also the type of guy who if it snowed, he would stay in the city so he didn't miss work. He was totally dedicated to both.
"Timothy worked hard and he played hard," said his wife, adding that he coached his two teenage sons in different sports and was preparing to do the same for his younger daughter. "He even taught Timothy, our oldest son, to play golf. Every weekend they would be out on the links."
Reading this, I can't help but compare your relationship to Timothy with my relationship to my dad. My dad and I also enjoy playing golf. On a recent trip home my dad and I spent some time at the driving range. Knowing you enjoyed the game with your son makes me appreciate the time I had with my dad even more.
Hughes, 43, earned both his undergraduate and MBA degrees from Scranton University in Pennsylvania. After college, he went on to hold a number of jobs in the financial field. At one point, he worked for several firms at the Philadelphia Stock Exchange.
One of Hughes' favorite pastimes was renovating homes the family lived in. "Out of the four homes we owned, he supervised renovation and restoration of three of them," his wife explained. This includes their current home, a seven- bedroom, 1903 house in Madison, N.J., which was awarded a historic preservation award from the township last year, and their preceding home, a 200-year old farmhouse in Cherry Hill, N.J.
Obviously handy with tools, Hughes' current home had a carriage house, "which had a workshop with every kind of power tool you could think of," his wife said.
I have to admit I had mixed emotions about this bit of information. I think you would be happy to know I am also an advocate for the preservation of historic structures. I am an American Studies/ Historic Preservation MA candidate at The George Washington University. My dream is to do what you did; purchase older homes and restore them. I can't help but wonder if things had turned out differently that day, five years ago, would we have met? Perhaps on a project or consulting for a small town in NJ? Who knows?
They say things happen for a reason. I am not sure I believe that but this experience has renewed my faith in that belief somewhat. I could have been assigned any name but I was given yours. I don't think it is coincidental, given the few number of preservationists, that I was given you.
The article says you were working on the 104th floor of Tower One when a hikacked plane slammed into the structure. I am not sure if I have ever been in Tower One.
A long time ago, my sixth grade year, I took a trip to NYC for Girl Scouts. The first site we visited during our stay was the WTC. I remember the long elevator ride to the observation level where we looked out on the "city of lights." I remember being in awe. I was this young girl from eastern Kentucky who had never been in a city with a substantial population before. I instantly fell in love. I can't imagine what views you enjoyed from your office window. It must have been incredible to look out over the city every morning and then again each night as the lights came on.
You were only 43 years old when you were taken from your family. I constantly grouch, "Life isn't fair," and your passing only strengthens my arguement. Although you perished on 9.11. your family and friends held out hope. You were confirmed dead on 9.25.2001.
I am 28 years old. I often wonder what the future holds for me. Tim, if I live half the life you lived, I think it will be pretty wonderful. To have a beautiful, loving family, to work in a profession I love and serve others, to be remembered after I leave this life as a kind, honest, hard-working woman who was devoted to her work and family will be enough.
Tim, your memory, this experience, has renewed my determination to Live. To enjoy my work more, to serve more, to appreciate my loved ones more and to renew my hope for a future family. Thank you for your life and the memories you left. I will remember.
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