He Brought Me Through This [Main Story]
alerie Silver-Ellis had a “very, very big heart,” says her mother, Joan Silver, a member of the Sligo Seventh-day Adventist Church in Silver Spring, Maryland. “When people went through things, she went through it with them. She had a very big heart.”
Valerie, a graduate of Takoma Academy and the University of Maryland, was an equities trader for Cantor Fitzgerald. She was working on the 104th floor of the north tower on the morning of September 11, 2001.
Silver says her daughter was also very intuitive, had a fantastic memory, and loved a good joke. The middle child of three children, between older brother Steve and younger sister Bethany, she is remembered most for her kindness, her protective nature to those she cared about, and her willingness to help people and care for them.
Naturally, the past 10 years since her death have not been easy for her family. It has been particularly hard on sister Beth. “ ‘Mom,’ ” Silver recalls her saying, “ ‘I always thought we’d grow old together.’ ”
But the Lord has been faithful. Silver, who has been a homemaker and teacher, and has worked in the medical staff office of Washington Adventist Hospital, says, “The Lord has brought me through this. He is the one who has brought me through this. Every day He blesses me. From the beginning He’s the one who did it for me, and I want to give Him the glory.”
Silver keeps busy with church activities and her own personal ministry of helping anyone in need. Since Valerie’s death, the family has kept her memory alive through the establishment of an orphanage in Tanzania built in her honor. Silver is close to Valerie’s husband, Sam, and goes to New York on occasion to visit him and enjoy their weekend home on Long Island—a place Valerie loved to entertain her mother in, showing her the owls living in a nearby tree. “She was so thrilled to show them and look at them,” Silver lovingly remembers. “We had so much fun. She just loved being out there.”
—Wilona Karimabadi is an assistant editor of the