Baker’s Hours

September 11, 2009

Remembering a Friend

After a long nine day stretch at work, I lay in bed half asleep enjoying the thought that I didn’t have to work today. One of the many little quirks about me is that I sleep with the radio on. I’m just one of those people who can’t sleep if the room is too quiet, so I need some sort of ambient noise. As I lay in bed dozing in and out of consciousness, I hear the people on NPR talking about the attacks on 9/11, and it hits me. 

There are times when I am at work where days seem to smash into another, and I totally loose track of days. So on this, the seventh anniversary of the attacks on September 11, 2001, I would like to reminisce about a dear friend and role model. Heather Ho was the Pastry Chef at the Windows of the World Restaurant at the top of the World Trade Center. She was a fantastic Pastry Chef, but most of all she was my friend, and someone whom I try to model my career after. Her professionalism and skill made her one of the top Pastry Chefs in the country, and her death on 9/11 was felt by all in the industry whether they knew her or not. 

For me, like many people, 9/11 is one of those events where you remember exactly where your were, and what you were doing when the event happened. I was living in West Virginia at the time, and I woke up at 10:36 am. I turned on the tv, and for whatever reason, it was tuned into CNN, which was odd because the tv is usually tuned onto an HBO channel because I like to watch movies to unwind before I go to bed. Still for some reason, I was watching CNN the night before so this morning when I woke up it was impossible for me to miss.

The most unfortunate thing about her death was that she had given her notice, but had agreed to continue to work at Windows until they were able to find a replacement. The suddenness and unexpected nature of the attacks serve as a constant reminder to me that I should live everyday as if it were my last. To have no regrets, and to never ponder on the what was, or what could have been. I live in the now because for all I know, I could die tomorrow, or even two minutes from now.

“It is wise for me to think about the past, and to learn from my past, but it is not wise for me to be in the past. For that is how I lose myself. It is also wise to think about the future, and to prepare for my future, but it is not wise for me to be in the future. For that too is how I lose myself. And when I lose myself, I lose what is most precious to me.” ~Spencer Johnson, The Precious Present

Heather, you were a shining light in the world, and you are sorely missed.


Song stuck in my head at the time of this post: Wink and a Smile by Harry Connick Jr.


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