Friday, September 11, 2009

"Your Granddaughter Has Your Smile" ... A 9/11 Tribute to Robert Michael Shearer (Flight 175)

A Happy Marriage after 39 years, the excitement of a new granddaughter, enjoying the time in your life when your time is your own and your passions fill your days . . . It is the happy endings of novels and the fade to black scenes in movies and it seems Michael Shearer was living that moment we all wait for, all the while holding the hand of his beloved Kathleen . . .

An Engineer by trade and a "Lawn Enthusiast" by choice Michael and his wife (Kathleen) had just moved into their dream home in Dover, NH; a house with the river view that they always wanted. The best part for Michael it seems was that there was a new lawn to perfect and he spent the day of September 10th 2001 seeding his new lawn. The plan it seems was that while he and his wife took a trip to California to visit their new granddaughter, the lawn would take hold and they would return to a paradise of green grass and that amazing river view. Another fade to black moment seems to be what they had in mind.

As we all know the fade to black moment that took the lives of Michael and Kathleen Shearer happened early on September 11, 2001 as the flight they boarded in Boston took a detour that would forever change the lives of their family and friends, total strangers like myself and inevitably our nation.

I cannot fathom the anguish that their family must have felt, though it seems there were some small moments of comfort that I hope today can bring them some peace as another anniversary comes to pass. A quilt that had lovingly been made by a doting grandmother and feared lost was found safe and sound at their home. Perhaps in that rush to get out the door and to the airport, which we have all experienced, it was just accidentally left behind. For whatever reason a daughter and a granddaughter will have a forever reminder to hold on to. But more than a quilt to wrap yourself in I hope that as their granddaughter grows that her family will find comfort in seeing the best parts of their parent's living on. (After all it is inevitable that the generations following us will be genetically linked to us for better or worse.) My hope for a fade to black moment today is that a daughter looks into the face of the living legacy of her parents, their granddaughter, and that she sees her father's smile . . .

*Information obtained from


  1. So great that you did this tribute. Thank you. We must never forget.