For one mother, bin Laden’s death doesn’t change a thing
While the world cheered the killing of the man who plotted the murder of her child, the mother could only sigh.
“It doesn’t change anything,” says Monroe’s Pat Morris, whose 22-year-old daughter, Lynne, was killed at the World Trade Center on 9/11.
The death of Osama bin Laden won’t bring back the young woman with the long brown hair and wide smile who always would make her friends say “I love you” before they got off the phone.
While throngs chanted “USA, USA” after bin Laden was gunned down, Pat Morris felt numb — “like I’d been hit by a truck again,” she says.
The news that bin Laden was killed in a daring raid won’t bring back the chatty daughter who could walk into a ladies’ room at work and emerge minutes later with a new friend.
As for the pundits who speculated about President Barack Obama’s approval ratings, or whether the death photo of bin Laden should be released?
Pat Morris just shakes her head.
“It’s not going to bring anyone’s loved ones back,” she says.
The cheers, chants and media chatter only made Pat Morris slip back to the dark side of the life that was forever changed the sunny day Lynne left her Monroe home for work and never returned.
So rather than dwell on the man behind the killing of her daughter — the baby daughter who said “buggafly” instead of “butterfly,” the little girl who wore mom’s high heels to play fashion show, the young woman who gave a struggling single mom flowers — Pat Morris prefers to think of the spirit of Lynne that survives.
It’s a spirit Pat Morris sees in her grandchildren — the children of Lynne’s brother, Ed, the children Lynne didn’t live long enough to meet.
Pat sees Lynne in the bent pinky of 3-year-old Claire — a pinky just like baby Lynne’s.
She sees Lynne in the way 10-month-old Evelyn sucks her two fingers, just like Lynne.
So Pat Morris gave Lynne’s favorite stuffed animal — Choco, the chocolate monkey — to Claire.
Pat Morris also sees Lynne when her daughter’s friends — friends Lynne knew since she was a baby — have their babies.
That’s why she also gives them Lynne’s stuffed animals and dolls, like the boy and girl statues she gave to the friend of Lynne’s who just had twins.
But perhaps most of all, Pat Morris prefers to think that the goodness of Lynne lives on in the creature that symbolizes new life — the butterfly. Lynne had pictures of butterflies all over her room — on the mirror, on the picture frames, even on the last Mother’s Day card she sent Pat.
So Pat Morris wears a butterfly pendant on her neck. She sets her table with a butterfly place mat. She lights a candle with a glass butterfly shade at family gatherings. And she hangs a butterfly tapestry on the wall.
The crocheted words read: “The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched. They can only be felt with the heart.”
And sometimes, even in the darkest, coldest times, those butterflies flutter into Pat Morris’ life.
On a damp, gray day a few weeks ago, she was driving to the baby shower of Lynne’s childhood friend. In the 40-degree cold, a butterfly flew onto her car window.
For Pat Morris, the butterfly — born again every spring — is more proof that the goodness of Lynne lives on long after evil Osama bin Laden has died.