Monday, September 11, 2006

The Loss Of A Sister

Today I mourn the loss of a sister.

Not my own sister, Thank You God, but the loss of a stranger’s sister. Anisia C. Abarabar lost her sister, Marlyn C. Bautista, on the morning of September 11, 2001, in the World Trade Center.

It breaks my heart.

There is something about the bond between sisters. Something beautiful, magical, special. More than the sharing of secrets and hand-me-down clothing, it is an unconditional love like no other. It is intimate, and pure, and deep, and real. The greatest gift that my parents ever gave me was my little sister. And I am forever grateful.

Anisia and her sister, Marlyn, were born and raised in the Philippines. After marrying her childhood sweetheart, Marlyn moved to the United States. Anisia, and other family members, soon followed.

Marlyn and Anisia both worked in the World Trade Center in New York. On a September morning, five years ago, Anisia arrived downtown to find smoke pouring out of the building. Hoping to find her sister already praying, and safe, Anisia rushed to "their" church - the church they had so often visited on their way to work. But Marlyn wasn’t there.

On that September morning, Marlyn woke at 6am, kissed her husband, Rameses, goodbye, hopped on a bus from her home in New Jersey, and went straight to her meticulously maintained office on the 98th floor in the accounts payable department of Marsh & McLennan.

From the church, Anisia ran back to the World Trade Center to search for Marlyn, but the building was burning and she couldn’t get in. There was nothing she could do. On the day that America lost its innocence, Anisia lost her sister.

I cannot begin to imagine.

And so today I thank God that my sister is alive and well, and that we are happy and healthy. And I mourn for Anisia’s loss and for the hurt that she must feel everyday. How terrible, to lose your sister. In her honor, and in honor of every single person who gave their life that day, I post this entry and take a moment of silence to remember

Marlyn C. Bautista
Died at the age of 46 during the attacks on the World Trade Center.

*A big Thank You to the 2,996 project, which allowed me to attach a face, a name, a this day instead of just a number. On the five year anniversary of September 11, 2001, I remember the life of Marlyn Bautista and hope that you will take a moment to remember her, too.*