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At first, Lindsay Fiedel would jump up at the sound of the doorbell ringing. Perhaps it was Mommy, who had a special jingle to tell her 3-year-old daughter she was home.
Nearly two months later, the little girl knows the hard truth. Kristin Fiedel, a 27-year-old single mother from the Bronx, is never coming home.
Fiedel, who worked in the finance department at Marsh & McLennan, was on the 98th floor of Tower One on Sept. 11. She is among the missing from the terrorist attacks.
'The very first night, she said, ’Hurry up, Grandma, let’s go. Let’s go wait for Mommy,’' said Isabel Fiedel, Kristin’s mother, who lives two blocks from her daughter’s apartment. 'Now she says, ’Mommy’s gone. Mommy’s up in heaven.’ And she wipes away my tears.'
Isabel and Warren Fiedel, Kristin’s parents, don’t know a life without their daughter, the youngest of their three children.
Fiedel always lived at or near home. Her mother and daughter would meet her at the train station after work when the weather was nice, and the family ate dinner and spent the evenings together. Fiedel left her daughter with her parents at night so she could rise early to catch the train to work.
On weekends, mother, daughter and granddaughter were inseparable, going to the mall, concerts and amusement parks: fun for the baby and them, too.
'I’m a shopaholic just like my daughter,' Isabel Fiedel said. 'We just loved going to the mall. Once the baby was born, everything was centered on Lindsay.'
That meant going to the mall to stock up on a constant stream of toys and clothes for the baby.
The last pictures of Fiedel and her daughter together are from their trip to Palisades Mall in Rockland County on Sept. 9. Fiedel’s aunt, Marcia Costanzo, snapped pictures of the two on the roller coaster and Ferris wheel at the mall.
Now, the Fiedels say, they are paralyzed, trapped between the memories of their daughter and the need to move on with their lives.
Warren Fiedel is haunted by his daughter’s voice every time he misses a call on his cell phone. She recorded his message.
'As soon as I hear her voice, I can’t handle it,' he said. 'I hang up. I can’t listen to it now, but I won’t remove it.'
And Isabel Fiedel can’t bear to walk the two blocks to the train station.
'I stop at a certain point and I find myself turning around,' she said. 'I can’t go there.'
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