I listened to loved ones reading the names of those they lost on 9/11 and long before the reading was through….I remember thinking to myself…How can you miss someone you never knew?


Some of the people reading the names on that sorrowful carrousel…weren’t even born when those planes crashed…weren’t alive when the towers fell.


They were too young to know the person hatred mercilessly snatched away…yet they all said: Even though I never knew you…I miss you every day.


So I began to listen more closely at how their stories intertwined…and how they all found joy and happiness in the memories left behind.


Ironically, it is that joy and happiness…(at least this is my belief)…that offers us some comfort…as it ushers in our grief.


And it is precisely that joy and happiness spread out to each family member…to those who were not born yet…or those oo young to remember…


Joyous memories of an uncle, brother, sister, father or a wife…that takes a person they never knew they lost…and brings them back to life.


“You were my best friend…brother.”

“She was smart and funny and wise.”

“Mommy says I have your smile.”

“Daddy says have your eyes.”


Perhaps it is each memory of a moment of love…a moment shared…that helps us through those other moments…when we’re sad or lonely or scared.


Perhaps it is each memory…with a loved one that we share…that can help to build a memory…of a person no longer there.


And perhaps it is each memory passed from me to you…to you…

That can make another person…miss…someone they never knew…


Yes, the more I listened the more I realized…it is possible to miss someone you never knew…

because as they told their stories…

I began to miss them too.

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A woman I did not know and had never met before

stopped in the other day when no one else was in the store


She brought a book into the bookstore…that’s a little odd I thought

then she asked if I had read the book…I said that I had not.


She looked into my eyes, smiled and nodded her head.

then proceeded to ask me questions about the book I hadn’t read.


It really didn’t matter that I could not answer her whos or whats or whys

because once she asked the questions she didn’t wait for my replies.


She kept the conversation going without me about the book I hadn’t read

While I listened, smiled and every now and then politely nodded my head.


But in the midst of her barrage of words…as I listened to her speak 

I heard amidst her chattering…that her sister died last week.


I almost missed them when they first floated by…

so I waited a moment 

and then

as I listened more intently…

they floated by again.


She said she hadn’t been out much since her sister died and decided to take a walk

I imagine she was sad…and lonely…and just stopped in to talk.


So I kept right on listening and nodding and on my face I kept a smile

as she kept our one-sided conversation going for a while.


She thanked me as she left the store…you’re welcome was all I could say

wishing I could have done a little more to help push her sadness away.


And even though she did all the talking

and not one word had I said

It was the best conversation I’ve ever had


about a book I hadn’t read.

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Lo que no se cuenta



Un aplauso a
Todo eso que vive
Entre, tu mente y tu boca, y 
Que nunca llega a salir
Esos momentos tuyos
Que tuyos se han de quedar
Hasta dejar de existir

Eso que habita la mente en forma de recuerdo,
De furtivos momentos escondidos en la normalidad
Detrás de un "nada" hay toda una vida en un instante
Un instante de vida oculta y presa
Entre tu memoria y tu boca


Author's Notes/Comments: 

There will be a full translation of this poem, just be patient plis :) ly

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If you’re lucky enough to fall in love…to have love enter your life…

from your parents, your friends your relatives, your partner or your wife…


Once you have been blessed …and that seed of love is planted

you cherish every moment……you take not a thing for granted.


For over the years there is a truth…a lesson about love that you’ve learned:

how it feels wonderful it when you give it…and even more wonderful when it’s returned..


And you truly believe that this feeling will forever be extending

never giving a thought that your love story has an ending.


You get so involved in love

in its mystery, its excitement and it’s laughter

that you think the only way your fairy tale will end

is happily ever after.


But when someone you love stops loving you

when they say they’ve had enough

or when a loved one dies…or for whatever the reason

the road turns from smooth…to rough


you find yourself crying and moaning

and you hope 

and you wish 

and you pray…

because in your heart you know that fairy tales

aren’t supposed to end this way.


Then somehow with the help of your friends,

your siblings, your father and your mother

you discover the end of one fairy tale 

can be the beginning of another.


So you jump on your white horse

and with your injured soul

and your heart in need of mending

you turn to the next page of your Fairy Tale…


in search of your happy ending.


He can’t explain it logically

but once he found her…

the person he adored

his heart felt like it grew…

larger than it had ever been before.


And when she died

when she was finally gone…

never more to be

he wondered if what he felt 

was his heart breaking

or simply 


returning to the size it used to be

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They loved to work on puzzles…puzzles of every kind

anything they could do to help improve their minds.


He would sit beside her as they completed crosswords

(always the left side he would choose)

He would help her with the answers as she read out the clues.


They would sit day in…day out with him on her left flank….

and he loved to watch how with pen in hand she filled in all the blanks.


They loved their jigsaw puzzles.

They made sure each one read '500 pieces’ on the label

because any puzzle with more than that wouldn’t fit on their card table. 


As they neared completion of a puzzle…his participation would decrease…

always giving her the pleasure…of completing that last piece.


And even though they completed puzzles to help their minds stay strong

that doesn’t always mean in life…the mind will play along.


For we never know what Fate has in store…what Destiny may bring….

and one day he began to notice she was forgetting things…


It was sad when he began to notice…and sadder yet because he knew

there would come a day…when she would notice too.


“I’m afraid?”  she said one day in tears

What are we going to do?”

“Whatever happens.” he said taking her hand

I’ll be right here with you.


So life was the last puzzle they completed

and he constantly gave thanks

he was there to help find her missing pieces

to fill in all her blanks….


And he was there when their puzzle ended

there the day she died….

their hands fitting together like a puzzle


as he was seated by her side.

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A teacher found a weathered copy of her poem…

And immediately reminisced…

for never had he read a poem…as sad or beautiful as this:



“I want you all to write a love poem,” He told his class,

“For love is beautiful…and grand…”

when he was interrupted by a student…who quickly raised her hand.


“My daddy was killed by a crazy person with a gun.” she said.

“How can I contemplate…

words of love and joy…

when I’m filled with so much hate?”


He had anticipated many questions…but this one…he never guessed…

He walked over, put his arms around her…and hugged her to his chest.


“When hate is all around us”, he said…”when bullets rain down from above…

That is the time we must fight hate…and search for words of love.”


“Look into your heart.” he said, ‘words of love are waiting there

words of love you will discover…words of love you’ll want to share.”


He returned to his desk amid silence…and during the interlude

the class all wrote their poems…in a quiet solitude…


He wasn’t sure what to expect until that night at home

when he came to her assignment entitled…


                                            This Is My Love Poem


My daddy used to talk about love…before he’d turn off my light…

He said love is a wonderful way to start the day…and the best way to say goodnight.


So I will try everyday to think in words of love…no matter what my fate

hoping the words of love I find…will overcome my hate…


I hope someday to discover the love I’m searching for…

For hate has won this battle…but I won’t let it win the war. 


Perhaps if words of love, instead of bullets, were falling from the sky

then love would finally vanquish hate…and no more Daddies would have to die.


Yes, hate has left me with a scar and my dreams will be forever haunted…

but I promise to try and look for love, because…



that’s what Daddy would have wanted.

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He was looking at a picture of his wife…thinking of their first date… first kiss…

and now that she is gone…all the things that he will miss…


“You look sad.” the young girl said to him as he sat upon ‘their’ rock

“Sometimes I get sad too.” she said…but he didn’t want to talk.


“Why are you here all by yourself?” He asked.

“What are you doing talking to me?”

“Don’t you have someplace else to go?”

“Someplace else you need to be?”


“Do you like ice cream?” she asked

“How long since you were born?”

“How dangerous is it to pet a snake?”

“Have you ever seen a unicorn?”


The old man tried his best not to answer…but there was something about her smile he adored…

and as the questions kept on coming…she was too hard to ignore.


“I’ve never seen a unicorn.” he said

“Snakes are dangerous…you know.”

“I like my ice cream chocolate…and I was born a long, long time ago.”


She kept asking questions because that’s what a little girl does

and as the old man kept responding he forgot how sad he was.


After a while from atop that rock he was now happily sitting on

he turned to thank the little girl

but he couldn’t

she was gone.


He looked but could not find her.

Where was she?

He didn’t know…but she took with her his sadness 

she took with her his woe.


“It can’t be…can it! he wondered after sitting there a while

and returning to the picture of his wife he nodded,


“I thought I recognized that smile."

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She was seven when her family moved away…

She was sad…she didn’t know what to do

as she waved goodbye to all her friends

and the only home she ever knew.


Her parents said they have a nice new house

that she’d make new friends…

still she pined…

For how could she make new friends

when she left her heart behind?



They were married only 20 years

When his wife unexpectedly passed away…

He didn’t have time to say goodbye

To plead with her to stay…


Friends said he was still young

that he’d find another wife as gentle and as kind

but he knew that would be impossible

when he left his heart behind.



A loss of any kind is difficult…

when there is so much that we miss…

If there is anything we must remember…

we must remember this…


For anyone who experiences a loss

we must keep this in mind…

It’s never easy to move ahead

when you’ve left your heart behind.


So we must show them patience and love

For in their own time they will discover

That there is happiness ahead…


That their heart can and will recover.

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