My one day, my one hour

You walk with me.

You walk near me.

But, yet I turn my eye to you.

Every step that I take,

I know not the hour that you come.

But one day, one hour,

you will come.

And, in that hour,

nothing will be the same.

You are a daily companion,

I do not want to travel with.

But, yet, I do.

I know your bittersweet taste.

When you have knocked on my door

and visited

nothing has remained the same.

The emptiness,

the loss,

the intense desolation.

I know you well.

Too well.

My dear friend,

we walk silently as partners all 



May your lesson

allow me to live fully,


Let me take what comes tomorrow

before you come

at my one day,

my one hour.

The great giver and the great thief.

“Linger awhile, for you are so beautiful.”

Stay with me

in this moment.

Don’t let it pass

so quickly.

Time is the great giver

and the great


On such a day,

I want it to float on and on,


But, surely

as day marches into the night,

it doesn’t.

Time is the great giver

and the great


All comes to end

as surely as the sun

rises and sets.

For this moment,

let me languish in the present

for it is beautiful here.

Let me linger for a while,

until the light edges from the sky.

You are so beautiful.

The great thief comes

as daylight ebbs into twilight.

Releasing me from this one perfect, beautiful





Faust – “Stay for a while, for you are so beautiful.”


Awake dear soul! Awake!

You are so known you are forgotten.

Complacency and familiarity.

I see you but yet I do not see you.

The hummingbird flies outside the window

but yet I cannot stop to see.


Awake dear soul!  Awake!


I see the surface but yet not what lies below.

My soul, your soul, our soul

is covered by a cloak of time.


Awake dear soul!  Awake!


Numbing and distance.

Deep below lies a landscape unknown.

But complacency and familiarity have

numbed me to its excavation.


Awake dear soul!  Awake!


You grab my hand but I pull away.

The mystery forgotten

lost in a quiet death

not seeing for myself any longer

living in my numbed complacent life.


Awake dear soul!  Awake!


Lead me away from this deadened life to

the mystery and magic,

blessing and possibility

that lie deep below.


Awake dear soul!  Awake!


Come, let’s excavate the soul.

Just being

Just being.
A life like any other.
Not recognized.
Peering into the eyes of a soul.
The light illuminates the deep passages inside.
Spreading like the dawn to the darkness.
A flower unfolding in the heat of the day.
Your beauty is hidden below.
Not recognized.
You are like nobody.
Barely swimming in a tide of ordinary.
Suffocating in complacency.
Until light illuminates the recesses of the darkness.
And, your brilliant radiance shows forth.
Sheltering your richness and complexity
while in the world you are
Just being.

The answer lies within…

My heart beats.

You walk past.

You like me on Facebook, but yet you don’t recognize me in person.

Technology where have you gotten us?

So far removed from where we have been.

You claim you fix things, make things better,

but yet all I see is damage and descent.

My heart beats.

But, yet you keep your head down.

Wars rage, people are divided, violence overcomes our cities.

Oh, science!  How much progress you have wrought.

Gee, look how good it all appears on the outside.

My heart beats.

Your heart beats.

But, yet, you can’t even look in my eyes.

Advancements we exclaim will make all the difference in the world.

Instead, they have divided us.

They are killing us.

We live in a deep decline into misery.

My heart beats.

Within is the answer.

But, yet you don’t look at my eyes.

Look at me.

Love me.

Feel my heart beat.



This world so cold.

This world is so cold.

A vast humanity seeking its own aims.

People passing by but not paying much attention.

Cut-throat in its own way.

I live in silent solitude even though I live in a world full of people.

I am isolated by my neighbor, my brother, my sister.

I only have you.

Like armament as I head off into battle.

I seek your word.

I seek your thoughts.

I seek your trust.

You are all I have

in the world so terribly ego-saturated.

Unconcerned with the next.

Only concerned with their own.

Only concerned with how they get ahead not how do they help.

Shattering all that is in their path.

Even the Earth itself.

In a world so cold.

So unforgiving.

You are my armament in the battleground of life.

Once upon a time…an average fairy tale.

Once upon a time, there was a young woman named Albertina Alfonse. Albertina came from a village called Povacao on the island of St. Michael in the Azores.  Born in 1924, she grew up in a very “tight” family network on Rockdale Avenue in New Bedford.

Albertina as a young woman met Ernest Barboza whose family owned a farm in Bliss Corner.  Ernest’s family came from the village on the other side of the mountain from Albertina’s Povacao, called Nordeste.  Albertina and Ernest had a love story that was probably like any other love story.  But, it lasted 69 years.

Albertina is my grandmother and Ernest, my grandfather.

Albertina was my hero, she meant the world to me.  She raised me like her own and she was like a mother to me.  I don’t know quite what it was about Albertina, or “Tina” as she was known.  But, she had spunk.  She was different.  She was funny. She always had a smile. And, she was very, very feisty.

My grandfather worked a ton.  He managed Tanza Liquors in Dartmouth and before that he worked in our family business, Perry Liquor Store on Rockdale Avenue in Dartmouth. He served in World War II as part of the Ski Brigade headed to Italy, except he never made it to Italy.  He got altitude sickness at Camp Hale in Colorado and was discharged sent to finish out his duty at Quonset Point in Rhode Island.

After being let go from the service, he traveled by train back to New Bedford where one late night, he knocked on the window to be let in.  He was home.  And, Albertina was very, very happy.

69 years.  They couldn’t be apart. They fought like cats and dogs, but they adored each other just the same. I remember her saying at the age of 80+, “Ernest, you are NOT the same man I married.”  And, I had to giggle silently to myself.

After my grandmother passed away in 2011, my grandfather couldn’t bear to live a day without her.  Just mere mention of her name brought tears to his eyes.  He passed away at the almost age of 96 on January 7.

I married my husband on their wedding anniversary July 24 in the hopes that I too would live a long, life with my new husband.  But, that was not to be.  I will never forget her stern words to me after my husband died. She said, “Robin, let me tell you this one thing. Dennis is gone and he is never coming back.”  Well, that sobered me up and made me move on in life.

Life is different these days without Albertina.  It is just not the same.  I wonder how I have I been able to make it this far without my rock of a grandmother.  She had a spirit I can only hope but emulate and a love for a man that I envy.

Sometimes these stories just need to be told.  They need to be captured for the moments they were.  Precious.  Delicate.  Enduring.

Stories of average people, living average lives, but yet still heroes in their own sense.  Some people just have spirit. A spirit that moves others through love. Albertina was that spirit.  And, I am proud to be her granddaughter.

November 13, 1924 – March 11, 2011


Albertina and Ernest at my wedding on July 24, 2004.