Hands to Comfort and Heal
"I loved my mother's hands, her extensions of her soul," Nate Holland, who turned 19 today, said in eulogizing his mother, Cora Hidalgo Holland. "She had hands like silken clay, forever soft and always warm. When I was a child she would tuck me into bed and run them through my hair as we talked until I could talk no more. I would drift into sleep as her fingers floated across my scalp. The second that she withdrew her hand I would awaken, her rhythmic lullaby ending, but I would still pretend to be asleep."
For the first time in almost 25 years of marriage, Mrs. Holland and her husband, who lived in Sudbury, Mass., were empty nesters. Three weeks later, Mrs. Holland, 52, was on Flight 11, on her way to visit her mother.
Dr. Stephen Holland fondly recalled his wife's love of sports. "I was really pushing to take a trip to Africa this last spring, but she really negotiated hard and fast, and we ended up going to spring training," he said.
Nate Holland remembered how she would check on him as he slept, or pretended to: "I can still see her propped against the door frame, hands folded upon her elbows, her eyes intent with compassion and love. I will never forget that."
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on April 28, 2002.
Cora, age 52, died Tuesday, September 11, in Flight 11 crash. She is survived by her husband Stephen, daughter Stephanie of Wayland, daughter Jessica and son Nathaniel, both of NYC and her son-in-law Victor, also of Wayland. Her 2 grandchildren, Drew & Amelia, both of Wayland. Beloved wife, mother, grandmother and friend to all. Services will be Saturday, September 15 at 10 O'Clock at Grace Chapel in Lexington. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Cora Holland Scholarship Fund of the Sudbury Cooperative Preschool, PO Box 123, Sudbury, MA 01776.
Paid Notice published in THE BOSTON GLOBE on 9/14/2001.