No one knows how long they have on this earth or the kind of life they will have. Will it be long but miserable? Short but sweet? A rollercoaster of bad happenstances interspersed with unspeakable joys? In our most challenging moments, will we rise to the occasion or languish in our fears?
Most of us will live and die without much of the world knowing we had lived. We will do nothing deemed worthy of a TV movie of the week or scandalous enough to be written up in the gossip column. Yet in our lives, we often have people we only get to know from chatting in the hallway or getting coffee in the break room, but feel connected to nevertheless. You know the people I’m talking about. They always have a quirky story to relate or an infectious smile when you pass by.
Norma Taddei was 64 years old when she died. At the time, she worked for Marsh and McLennan, an insurance and consulting company. She and about 1700 employees of the company worked in offices from floors 93 to 100 in the North Tower of the World Trade Center, the same floors that took a direct hit by the first plane to hit the Twin towers five years ago. Norma was one of almost 300 employees who died that day.
Norma was a grandmother who always had a smile for her granddaughter and a kitchen filled with food. She never missed remembering any of her goddaughter’s birthdays and treated her coworkers with kindness and a loving spirit. Her smiles were often accompanied by cheerful exclamations of “Ciao bello!” or “Ciao signorina!” at the office. Norma was the nurturing type. She considered herself the office mom--encouraging one just-out-of-college coworker not to be intimidated by senior members of the company, helping her develop a level of comfort working in the corporate world. Norma brought an affectionate aura to those around her. One ex-coworker wrote, "[i]n an environment that, at times, was pretentious, I truly appreciated her warmth and graciousness."
I wish I knew more about Norma to share, but internet searches only provide these few snapshots of her life. It seemed she carried a warm smile wherever she went. I hope, wherever she is, she is still smiling.
This tribute was culled from messages and articles from various 9/11 memorial sites. Any mistakes or misrepresentations are solely mine.Click here to read about the 2996 project and links to additional 9/11 tributes.