Letters to a Son
She uses a black fountain pen or a red quill. Loreen D. Sellitto fills the white pages of a journal with words to her son, Matthew, 23, who traded his snowboard for Brooks Brothers suits when he went to work for Cantor Fitzgerald in February on the 105th floor of 1 World Trade Center.
Sept. 22: It's been two weeks since that terrible day. Even when the towers collapsed, I felt you were out. After all, you are strong, young and determined. Matthew, you are my first born and my strength and my hero.
Oct. 2: Please guide me in finding ways to honor your values and determination the best way possible. We owe you this. I love you, Mom.
Oct. 9: Remember, you were the kid who always beat the odds? You were so savvy and smooth, always thinking out the consequences before acting or not acting. I always marveled at your ability to choose right.
Oct. 11: Can you see me? My heart aches like nothing I have ever experienced.
Now, Matthew's black Labrador, Cassie, fills his parents' house in Harding Township, N.J., with occasional barks. His father remembers his last phone call. His mother wears his sterling money clip, with its St. Christopher medal, close to her heart and sometimes hums the Grateful Dead song they played at his memorial Mass.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on October 26, 2001.