ALBUQUERQUE (CBSMiami) – The husband of the Southwest Airlines passenger, who was killed in last week’s mid-air explosion, said his family lost its bedrock.
Jennifer Riordan died after one of the plane’s engines exploded.
“There are some pictures that I’ve saved for myself that I have around the house that I just hug and kiss every day,” said Jennifer’s husband Michael Riordan. “Those are mine and I’m not going to let them go.’
A heartbroken Riordan said Jennifer was the love of his life.
“She called me that morning. She was on her way to the airport. We ended with ‘I love you, safe travels’, so to be able to tell my beautiful bride that I love you, is comforting,” he said.
The 43-year-old Wells Fargo vice president was flying home to Albuquerque, New Mexico from a business trip when the engine on her Southwest flight blew. The explosion destroyed a window and Jennifer was partially sucked out of the plane.
“The doctor called and said I’m sorry Michael, we did everything that we can and we couldn’t save her,” recalled Riordan. “I just dropped the phone and luckily my friend was there to handle me because I was just, the depths, you just didn’t think you could go.”
Last weekend, about 2000 family, friends, and neighbors packed an Albuquerque auditorium to remember Jennifer.
The Riordans have two children, 12-year-old Averie and 10-year-old Joshua.
“When I look in their eyes they understand that mom is going to be with us in every decision, so I think they have some comfort, but they have not had a chance to understand how they grieve yet, and how we set our new norms,” said Riordan.
Riordan and his children carry the guardian angel coins handed out at the memorial, a reminder that Jennifer is still looking out for them.