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Colleen Barkow's job at Cantor Fitzgerald was to help oversee the building of things -- including, most recently, the firm's cafeteria. "She was very proud of that," said her father, Thomas Meehan.
But over the past several months, she was using her talents to help oversee the building of something that mattered much more to her: a new home, for her and her husband, Daniel Barkow, in a virtual forest of a plot in the Poconos.
The couple were so proud of their project that they even started a Web site so friends and family could watch it rise. They were going to brave the two-hour-plus trips to work because they loved the place so much. They were supposed to move in on Oct. 1.
"I have an empty house now that she designed and built and she'll never get to live in it," Mr. Barkow said.
Dates have become very important for him. He and his wife, 26, were married on Sept. 17, 2000. Rescue workers recovered Ms. Barkow's body on Sept. 17.
The only recent consolation for him has been that his wife's rings -- her engagement ring, wedding ring and the diamond ring he had just given her for their upcoming anniversary -- were found and returned to him.
Mr. Meehan said that his son-in-law had the rings repaired and now wears them on a chain around his neck.