Ain't No Sunshine When She's Gone................
Cathi My Joy
I thought I wasn't ready to tell my story, but reading some of the stories that have been shared here gave me the courage. I lost my daughter Cathi on January 16th, 2010 to a hotel fire in Birmingham. I also lost my niece Angel that night, along with two of their dearest friends.
My daughter was 18 and in her first year of college. She came down to Florida to visit for her Christmas break. She was here from December 4 and she left to go back to school on Jan 8th. I can still see her face as she boarded the shuttle that would take her to the plane, she stopped and turned her head over her shoulder and said "Mommy I love you." How could I have known it would be the last time I would ever see my child alive, a week later she was gone.
Her and her cousin and 2 friends decided to leave college that weekend and head to Birmingham for the weekend to shop with all the gift money they had received. They checked in at the Days Inn in a beautiful part of town. A fire was started by an illegal immigrant that was allowed to work there on an expired visa. Instead of calling 911, this man was so afraid of getting into trouble that he tried to put the fire out himself.
The hotel had no working fire extinguishers or sprinklers, so by the time someone actually did call 911 it was too late for those beautiful young women.
These were good girls, doing the right thing with their lives. My daughter has taught me many lessons in life by just watching the person she was. She was kind and generous to everyone, even people who hurt or mistreated her. She would say, "mom just forgive and let God do the rest."
I miss my girls, my pain is surreal at the moment. I never thought it would happen to "me" but it has.
God bless us all who have and are experiencing these loses, all we can do is help each other, and be patient.
I live my life now as if everyday is my last, and in that I find much joy.
Thank-you for listening.