Flight 93: Last Flight Out
You said you'd always loved the bagpipes. You listened to them when you were mad. In Scotland, you'd watch the pipests play for hours. While making our wills you requested that when you died, Amazing Grace be played on the bagpipes at your funeral. A few days later you heard your first Scottish hymn. You fell in love all over again and swore that you would learn to play. Learn you did. You were better at the bagpipes than you were at Quidditch. I'd always joke and say that it was because you were full of hot air.
I loved to sit and listen to you play. Your daughter did too. Your parents were amazed. It was the first time that you had shown an interest in anything other than Quidditch. After learning the basics you taught yourself two songs and two songs only. Amazing Grace and Your Scottish hymn. After playing those two songs for a while you decided to make them in to one. It was then that I realized you did EVERYTHING you put your mind to.
In just nineteen years you had things that took most people an entire lifetime to obtain. You had a career, an excellent paying job, a respectable education, plenty of friends, fame, a close family, a beautiful daughter, and a wife who loved you very much. All you had left to do was growing old the graceful way. You had your child's entire future to look forward to and to watch; milestones to mark on the calendar. First words, first steps, first tooth, first day of school, first boyfriend, first heartache, first dance. A worlds full of firsts just waiting for you. You also had graduation from kindergarten and highschool, prom, and our daughters wedding day. You missed them all.
Everyone tells me it's not my fault, but they're wrong. It is my fault for being selfish. If you'd have left one flight earlier, I wouldn't be here today. I'd be at home with you instead. People tell me that it was right of me to ask you to stay; we did have a new baby after all. They say it's not my fault, that I couldn't have known, but I did. I BEGGED you not to go; to tell your team mates that you were too sick to play. But, you did make a commitment, and your fans were waiting, so you went, but you never made it to the game.
I told you to call me when you got there. I guess you did, but your definition of "there" was far different from mine. You said you'd call around eleven, the plane was supposed to be in New Jersey by then. When the phone rang at 10:05 and it was you, I knew that something was terribly wrong. I remember that you were crying and telling me to be strong. You said that you loved me and that you were sorry that we wouldn't get to grow old together. I asked you what was wrong and you told me to send your family your love and to tell them that this wasn't their fault. I begged you to tell me what was wrong and you told me to make sure that Emily never forgot her daddy. You said to tell her that you were sorry you'd never get to tuck her in again. You asked me to pray for you and everyone else on that plane, said you loved me one last time, and hung up the phone. A few moments later a friend called and told me to turn on the news. Two planes had hit the Twin Towers, and one had flown into the Pentagon. Then, in a breaking news update, United Airlines Flight 93 to New Jersey had gone down in a field somewhere over Pennsylvania. Emily started to cry and it was as though she KNEW her daddy WASN'T coming home.
I bolted for the car and strapped Emily in. It wasn't until I was half way to your mothers house that I remembered you had left me your car. I cried. By the time I made it to your parents' house, I was an emotional wreck. I just blew the horn until your father came out and got me. He carried Emily and I into the house and sat us down. Angel got a cold washcloth and placed it on my forehead, and after fifteen minutes of solace from your family, I finally settled down. It was then I realized they had the news on too. Your mother had been crying and I prayed that she knew but she didn't. Telling your parents that you had been on Flight 93 was one of the hardest things that I have ever had to do. Your mother fell to her knees with a wail, and your sisters started to cry. Lucius and Angel tried their best at being strong but in the end they broke down too.
We all cried, and hugged, and hurt for our loss. Reports started coming through that the passengers of United Airlines Flight 93 may have died trying to save others but it didn't make us hurt any less. At 12:15 Mykia called asking where you were. He wanted to know if you were okay, and said that he has seen everything happening on the news.
"Mykia," I said, "Draco's dead."
In the middle of his confused gibberish, he asked me how I knew, and I told him that you had been on Flight 93. It took him a while to process the thought but when he did his whole world could be heard falling apart. Kyle and him canceled the game and immediately drove home. When they arrived and everyone was rested, I told them what you had said. We hugged, and cried, and hurt some more. A week passed and it was confirmed that the passengers of Flight 93 had in fact all died a hero's death, but we still hurt no less. People started compiling and comparing lists of recovered victims and passengers of the four ill-fated flights. The Pennsylvania coroner called for someone to come and identify your body and we told them that we would make the two day drive there. I went in to identify your body.
They said that you were one of the cleaner victims and that with some work we could have a service with an open casket. We decided against it. You were buried in your Quidditch uniform with your hair pulled back to the nape of your neck in a ponytail held by an emerald green ribbon. At your funeral pipests from Scotland played Amazing Grace and Your Scottish hymn separately and then as one. It was a private service attended only by family members and close friends. We laid you to rest in your favorite spot. Just across the stream and half way into the woods behind your old house.
And so, here I stand one year later, the bagpipes melody still clearly playing in my head, wishing that you were here. I've been marking down all of the firsts that you have missed. Two months to the day after you died I was cleaning out a closet and came across an old picture of you. Emily pointed to it and said 'Daddy". She has three teeth now. One on the top and two on the bottom. Her first one came in 3 months ago. She's learning to walk now too. She'll have it down soon I know.
At one-and-a-half our daughter is a very intelligent child. She has your eyes and your hair, we even think that she'll be tall like you. She would have been such a daddy's girl, if she had only had the chance. You would love her even more now than you did when you left her.
As I look at your tombstone still as freshly polished as it was the day we buried you I remember the three years that we spent together as husband and wife and the nineteen years that you were here with us on this earth. Far too short a time for someone as wonderful as you. And so I sit. Sit and listen to recordings of you. Laughing, talking, and playing the pipes. You said you'd always loved the bagpipes. You listened to them when you were mad. I wonder...do you listen to them now?