I still remember


I still remember the morning I found out you were gone.

We knew you would be letting go sooner rather than later, so it was no surprise when I heard the news—especially because I had a dream that night.

I had a dream that you had left us, finally free of the suffering, and had moved on to a greater place. When I woke up with minute tears falling from my eyes, my mom softly knocked on my door. I replied with two words: I know.

I don’t know how I knew or where it came from, but somehow, I knew. 

I still remember visiting you in New Jersey two months before, spending such quality time with you. Although you couldn’t do much, you still managed to make the most out of the week—like you always did. From playing scrabble to simply sitting on the couch watching Pitch Perfect, everything was so worth it.

While you never adored talking about it, I heard from many how much of a hero you were. 

I never knew what department of the FBI you worked in until a few weeks ago. Looking back on it, I understand why you never wanted to talk about it. You went through so much and took so many consequences because of it. Running into the collapsing skyscrapers on September 11 was a choice you didn’t ever second-guess. I know you wouldn’t regret it, even if you knew what was to come in the future because of it. 

While you never adored talking about it, I heard from many how much of a hero you were.”

I still remember being at my brother’s house the Monday night you left us. We were hearing details on when we would need to travel back to New Jersey to say our final goodbyes. We heard Friday; we left Thursday. 

Packed in a car, my mom, brother, sister, and I all reminisced about the memories we had with you. There were quiet moments but also happy hours. Happy because we knew you were free of suffering, and that you would always be with us.

I still remember that Friday. We all walked into the church, embracing family members we hadn’t seen in months and meeting new people from your past. 

Tears surrounding me, the kind of quiet that means something is wrong filled the air. Yet, I wasn’t crying. To this day, I still couldn’t give a solid answer on why. It may have been the fact that I knew you were finally painless or that you had lived your life to the utmost best. I still don’t know.

Still, I love talking about you. I find comfort in telling your story and telling my friends about you. I will never forget your story.

All of this happened three years ago, but somehow, I still remember.