Robert Matthews' Tale of Hope
Date Added: Oct. 18, 2003
In remembrance of tragedy, we often seek out tales that help us realize that hope remains and that divine providence has a way of making even the most tragic situations work out for the best. Unfortunately, most of those tales have turned out to be pure fiction or just exaggerated versions of the truth. The jury's still out on this one.
Subject: Fwd: Chilling Story
I heard this person's story on the radio today and thought it was too powerful not to share.
A man from Norfolk, VA called a local radio station to share this on Sept 11th, 2003. His Name was Robert Matthews. These are his words:
"A few weeks before Sept 11th, my wife and I found out we were going to have our first child. She planned a trip out to California to visit her sister. On our way to the airport, we prayed that God would grant my wife a safe trip and be with her. Shortly after I said 'amen' we both heard a loud pop and the car shook violently. we had blown out a tire. I replaced the tire as quickly as I could, but we still missed her flight. Both very upset, we drove home.
I recieved a call from my father who was retired FDNY. He asked what my wife's flight number was, but explained that we missed the flight. My father informed me that her flight was the one that crashed into the southern tower. I was too shocked to speak. My father also had more news for me; he was going to help. 'This is not something I can just sit by for, I have to do something.' I was concerened for his safety, of course, but more because he had never given his life to Christ. After a brief debate, I knew his mind was made up. Before he got off of the phone, he said, 'take good care of my grandchild.' Those were the last words I ever heard my father say; he died while helping in the rescue effort. My joy that my prayer of safety for my wife had been answered quickly became anger. Anger at God, at my father, and at myself. I had gone for nearly 2 years blaming God for taking my father away. My son would never know his grandfather, my father had never accepted Christ, and I never got to say goodbye.
Then something happened. About 2 months ago, I was sitting at home with my wife and my son, when there was a knock on the door. I looked at my wife, but I could tell she wasn't expecting anyone. I opened the door to a couple with a small child. The man looked at me and asked if my father's name was Jake Matthews. I told him it was. He quickly grabbed my hand and said, 'I never got the chance to meet your father, but it is an honor to meet his son.' He explained to me that his wife had worked in the World Trade Center and had been caught inside after the attack. She was pregnant and had been caught under debris. He then explained that my father had been the one to find his wife and free her. My eyes welled up with tears as I thought of my father giving his life for people like this. He then said, 'there is something else you need to know.' his wife then told me that as my father worked to free her, she talked to him and lead him to Christ. I began sobbing at the news. Now I know that when I get to heaven, my father will be standing beside Jesus to welcome me, and that this family would be able to thank him themselves. "
When their baby boy was born, they named him Jacob Matthew in honor of the man who gave his life so mother and baby could live.
This chain began circulating in mid-September and has become popular because of the hope it conveys.
I have been unable to find any reputable source of this story. Searches on the Internet turn up only replications of the text above.
If the source of this was, indeed, a caller on a radio show, you have to ask yourself "where did this transcript come from?" Somebody would have had to have taken the time to record the call and type out the caller's words. The most likely source of this would have been the radio station that aired it. Unfortunately, the author of the chain letter did not reveal which station that was, and I cannot find a reference to it on any Norfolk, VA radio station Web site. So, we have no way to verify if the transcript is true to the call, or even if the call happened at all.
Another strike against it is the fact that there is no "Jake Matthews" on an official list of World Trade Center victims.
It is possible that someone did share this story on a radio station, but it's just as likely that it was made up out of whole cloth, either to give some hope or to fool those who decide to believe it (as with the tale of Daisy, the hero dog). Until we have some reliable and valid source for the story above, I have no choice but to label it a rumor. Break this chain.
References: WTC Victims from CNN.com, HomeTalkers Forum