Lizie Martinez-Calderon

Lizie Martinez-Calderon
World Trade Center

A Mother's Love

On Tuesday, Sept. 11, Lizie Martínez-Calderón woke up early and headed for the kitchen. From their bed, her husband, Marino Calderón, saw that their 4-year-old daughter, Naomi, had also woken up and was following her mother down the hall. Their 20- month-old son was still sleeping. It was 10 minutes before six.

"I said, `Go back to bed, Naomi. It's too early,' but she kept going towards her mother," Mr. Calderón said. So, he got up, followed their daughter and found his wife sitting on the living room sofa, gently craddling their little girl. Again, he told Naomi to go back to bed. But his wife pleaded with him, "Let her be, just leave her with me for a little while," Mr. Calderón remembers she said.

Ms. Martínez-Calderón, 32, a secretary at Aon Insurance who immigrated to New York from the Dominican Republic almost three decades ago, was a woman of faith, her husband said. She sang in the choir of their Adventist church in Washington Heights and was a member of a church group trained to assist victims in times of tragedy. "I think they were saying their goodbyes," Mr. Calderón says, still haunted by the last image of his wife mothering their little girl.

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on September 26, 2001.

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