Monday, September 11, 2006

In Memory of Del Rose Forbes-Cheatham

Name: Del Rose Forbes-Cheatham

Age: 48

Residence: New York, NY

Occupation: Cantor Fitzgerald

I joined Project 2,996 and was randomly assigned a 9/11 victim to honor today. I'll say all the standard remarks. The ones I've heard many times today. I can't believe it's been five years. I remember ever second of every hour of that day. Driving through western Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, and Illinois, en route to my brother's wedding in New Jersey via Zube Boy's parents in Chicago. Listening to the voices over the radio theorizing, crying, lamenting, informing. For seventeen hours, I relentlessly clung to every bit of news. I couldn't tear myself away. I remember people days before telling me how silly it was to drive all the way to New Jesery to trade cars with my sister. Why not get a Jeep Cherokee in Colorado? It'd be worth it once you figured in gas money. But I was dead set on driving home. And the irony that I would not have made it to my brother's wedding if we hadn't driven has not escaped me.

What tore me apart the most was the magnitude of it all. That sounds stupid. It's what tore us all apart the most, I think. The individual stories. Imagining that a few thousand people, people like me and Zube Boy and you and my sisters and my brother and my aunts, cousins, uncles, parents,'s exhausting. What drew me to this project was the ability to get to know just one a little better.

Del Rose Forbes-Cheatam.

I've stared at her picture for hours. She's beautiful. Her smile. The way even her eyes smile. The way she can pull off red. I've always wanted to be able to pull off red. And a hat. I love her hat. It is so her. And I don't even have to know her. I've tried to figure out what kind of person she might be. I'd toyed with the idea of finding her brother, mentioned here. I wish I knew how he thinks she might like to be honored. How he would like to see her honored. I want to tell him that I am so sorry for his loss. That she was beatiful. IS beautiful. But I googled Christopher Forbes and New York City, assuming that is where he lives, and there are just too many. I don't even know where to start.

I wonder, too. I wonder if she suffered. I wonder if she was scared. I wonder if she was comforted. Maybe by a coworker. Or a friend. Or a stranger. Or if she found peace in comforting someone else. I hope. I hope it all. Because I can't even imagine.

Every year on 9/11 I light a candle and take a minute to think about all who were lost that day. And this year I'll send my love to Del. And her brother. And all of those I'm sure are missing her brilliant smile, too.

They say Never Forget. And I Never Will. And, Del, I will never forget you.

12 Leg Humps:

junebee said...

That is wonderful. I wish I had heard about that project sooner.

Unknown said...

I too hope she was comforted in her last moments. Very moving tribute.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful tribute. This was a hard day, wasn't it?

I did a tribute too. Giving these people a voice was heartwarming...but deeply deeply saddened me again.

Anonymous said...

Glad You're back! I noticed something about the picture you posted that might shed some light on your lovely lady...She may have been a member of the "Red Hat Society" Here's a google of their philosophy...
""The Red Hat Society began as a result of a few women deciding to greet middle age with verve, humor and elan. We believe silliness is the comedy relief of life, and since we are all in it together, we might as well join red-gloved hands and go for the gusto together. Underneath the frivolity, we share a bond of affection, forged by common life experiences and a genuine enthusiasm for wherever life takes us next."
Not a bad way to face life! I live in Florida where there are a lot of chapter of this group. They dress up in red and purple outfits and go out to lunch or's not for everyone but ...why not?

Amy said...

What a beautiful tribute, Zube. Thanks so much.

Mamma Mia said...

that was heartfelt and beautiful, thank you for shareing her with us. Also yes that smile it is in her eyes. The hat looks like a red hat society, we have a group here lovly bunch of ladies - always full of laughter and life.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your tribute; what a nice one. I didn't have much info for mine and am somewhat upset that I had so little info....all of these are so wonderful (and hard) to read.

Northern_Girl said...

We will always remember. Always.

PaintingChef said...

I hope that maybe somehow, her borther find this. I think he would appreciate it.

PaintingChef said... Sorry.

Rachel said...

I found the project by accident on the eve of 9/11 when it was too late, I admire you for taking the time to honour someone else's life.

Unknown said...

I stumbled across this article today 9/11/11 of all days to find it, the 5th anniversary of it's publishing. With tears in my eyes it makes me happy that thru a picture people can see what a beautiful person and spirit my aunt was.


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