Ancient History

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Joyce Cummings

I am participating in the 2,996 project. I was honored to be given Joyce Cummings.

We arrived home from the hospital this afternoon. My baby’s first car ride featured roads that skirted the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Seventy years ago, another mother cradled her newborn daughter and no doubt pondered the future. The baby’s name was Joyce. Joyce’s mother rocked her baby in the tropical beauty of Trinidad. Did she see the future in her daughter’s brown eyes, or the crashing waves of the Caribbean? I know she wished her daughter a long and happy life, never dreaming of a day sixty five years in the future when her candle would meet a cold, harsh, merciless wind.

Joyce Cummings died on September 11th, 2001. She was sixty-five years old. She wasn’t on a plane, or in one of the TwinTowers that crumbled. She wasn’t at the Pentagon. She was expecting a mundane day of dentistry. It was either before, during, or after her appointment when she was overcome by the smoke and fumes of the destruction. My research revealed very few details of Joyce’s life or death, but she will forever be in the tragic rollcall of the day.

I did find what others said about Mrs. Cummings on a website. (ed. note: The site no longer exists as of the summer of 2011). The words of those who knew her paint a portrait of a woman who traveled, lived, loved, and was admired. The words of a woman I believe is her sister are heartwrenching. So much is learned of Mrs. Cummings—she was faithful, loving, loyal. She had a ministry of some sort. She was dedicated and “ever cheerful.”

Here we are 2 years later and I agonize over her death. I wonder what those last moments were like for her. I know she was scared. But, what’s more important is what a faithful, loving and loyal sister she was. Always in the ministry, always present at meetings and ever cheerful. I miss her, we worked out in service quite a bit, one summer. I would love to see her in the Paradise, where she’ll never, ever have to be as afraid as she was on 9/11/01.


I am so sorry she was afraid on 9/11/01. I am happy I got to know her a little bit. My heart goes out to her surviving family members and friends. This day must have been incredibly difficult.

1 comment to Joyce Cummings

  • I read yours and many of the other blogger tributes to the victims of 9/11. What a wonderful idea. We must never, ever forget those who died that day. I read stories of dishwashers, software executives, flight attendants, cattle farmers and tech guys. May they all rest in peace.

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