I must admit that that I have much different memories of 9/11 than most Americans. While I was shocked by the event, another event is firmly rooted in my mind.

On 9/11 my brother Lee and I were in Lexington trying to figure out what to do for our mom. Ms. Helen had been in the hospital for over 100 days and was dying. We were trying to find a nursing home who would take her as she was on a respirator. The one we knew of in Roanoke was horrid as I had walked out of it in disgust the day before. There was another one in Va Beach, which was quite nice, but which my Mom wanted no part of.

It was on this day that we realized she was going to die and that as her children we would have to present her some very difficult alternatives. She had made it clear she wanted to die in her bed– because of the respirator that was not possible as she was not a candidate for hospice.

Her doctor in Roanoke worked with us and figure out a way to extend her stay in the hospital and have Medicare cover it. He also worked, after my mom decided she wanted to come back to Lexington and come off the respirator, with her Doctor in Lexington to get her into Stonewall Jackson Hospital.

While 9/11 and the attacks is important to remember and I often think of those who died that day and since in our struggle against Islamic terrorism, for me 9/11 conjures memories of a realization that my mother was going to die soon.

Helen Tilden Williamson Foresman died peacefully early on the morning of September 19, 2001 at Stonewall Jackson Hospital in Lexington Virginia. Her room overlooked Stonewall Jackson Cemetery and the grave of her husband Henry.

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