One Last Talk With Mom
When he was a senior in high school, Gene Edward Maloy had an open block in his schedule. He needed a subject to fill it. His mother, Merlyn, thought she had a good idea: typing. He looked at her, stunned, and said, "Typing is for girls." But nothing else fit, and so typing it was.
Years later, he thanked his mother. The course came in handy as he became enraptured by computers. "Computers were his passion," she said. When he visited his parents as an adult, it would be, "Hi, Mom; hi, Dad," and he would vanish into the room with the computer and not be heard from for hours.
Mr. Maloy, 41, who lived in Brooklyn and was an analyst for Marsh & McLennan in the company's technology department, had a unusual bond with his mother.
"Gene and I had like a psychic relationship," Mrs. Maloy said. "I would be meaning to call him about something, and before I did, he would call me up and say, 'O.K., Mom, what's up?' He would just know."
On the morning of Sept. 11, Mrs. Maloy felt this urge and decided she didn't care if she was late for work. She had to speak to her son. She got him on the phone, they chatted, and she went off to work. "I'm glad I did that," she said. "I had that last conversation."
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 27, 2001.