9/11 – A Tribute to Curtis
I often wonder why we as humans constantly have to repeat the same lessons over and over again. Albert Einstein defines this as insanity.
I met Curtis way back in 2000 when he about to start his new job at the World Trade Center. You could see the gleam in his eyes as he talked about it. “This is my ticket out of here!” he told me. “I am going to save enough money so that me and my girlfriend can move out of the projects.”
I believed him. He was young and ambitious but more importantly driven. I remember projecting my fear of heights onto him but he calmed me down saying that his office was not at the very top of the second tower, but several flights down. We both chucked at his attempt to shut down my fear. “Nah, Mike, nothing to go to stop me from getting ahead.”
It was over a year later when 9/11 shook our country. Like most New Yorker’s we all knew or knew of someone that died in the attacks. For me personally I was consumed with finding out about my own personal friends and family members that may have been down in lower Manhattan at that time. I was relieved to find out that everyone close to me was accounted for. The only odd and nagging feeling that I had was why was I thinking about Curtis so much? I didn’t have an appointment with him. I hadn’t seen any emails from him, so I just brushed it off thinking to myself that I will send him a note. I am embassed to admit that I had completely forgotten that he was working at the World Trade Center.
It wasn’t until a few weeks later that I learned that Curtis had died in the attacks. It was painfully sad for me becuase while I only had met him on two occasions, I remembered his excitment about his new leash on life. I recalled his passion and quest for a better life and how happy he was personally with his girlfriend.
I also recalled how I couldn’t shake him out of my thoughts on 9/11. My lesson taught to me by Curtis was that if you are constantly thinking about someone for what seems to be for no apparent reason – actually has a reason. And that reason is because they are thinking about you.
Eleven years later I still thank Curtis for that lesson and each time I get a consisent impression of someone, I reach out to them.