DETROIT (WXYZ) - Katie Mattic was a remarkable woman, a longtime Detroiter whom I loved to call "Mom." She was indeed like a second mother to me, and we all lost her at 89 years old.
Our friendship was born a decade ago from the ashes of the World Trade Center, where her daughter Magaret was killed.
Margaret Mattic was a bright playwright who worked as a receptionist in the North Tower as she pursued her dream. When terrorists attacked on September 11, 2001 Margaret was unable to reach Katie, so she had a friend relay a message to Mom that she was okay and trying to leave the office.
The Mattic's never heard from Margaret again.
I visited the Mattic home in Detroit as a reporter intent on doing a story about a family fighting to make sense from the nonsense of hatred and violence. I left with a whole slew of new friends led by the family matriarch Katie Mattic.
Her strength at a time of weakness sent chills through my spine. Her grace in the face of horror left me in awe. Her faith in God at a time when you might expect her to rebel certainly inspired me. I couldn't help but remove my "reporter hat" and extend a hug of friendship.
Over the years, Katie and her family worked tirelessly to keep Margaret's memory alive. They even organized a reading in Detroit of one of her plays, and I was thrilled to be involved in that.
I stayed in touch this past decade, and enjoyed every moment I spent with Katie and her family, the calls, the conversations, the home grown corn.
In my 43 years in the TV business, I've covered every story imaginable. I've met numerous community leaders, politicans and stars.
But I've never met anyone quite like Katie Mattic. I'm a firm believer that people come into your life for a reason, that there's always a place in your heart to love someone new.
I loved Katie Mattic. I wish you could have known her and seen the glimmer in her eyes, felt her compassion and marveled at her faith.
I'm so glad I did.
Godspeed Katie. So long "Mom."
Goodbye. Farewell. Amen.