Azucena de la Torre "Afita"
Occupation:Cantor Fitzgerald | Vice President and Senior Project ManagerDedicated Memorial Sites:Reflections:The New York Times Portraits of Grief
Can one find words that would accurately express what Azucena meant to us? Perhaps, we could start by symbolizing the effects of September 11th, 2001 on our family and say: The column that held this family has been demolished, but the column will rise again; the building will stand tall and strong and if for no other reason, but because Azucena taught us to be that way.
Azucena Maria de la Torre was born in the South American country of Ecuador. She moved to New York after finishing high school. Her life is definitely a story of heroism and inspiration for all that have known her. She achieved professional and financial success while attending City College as full time student and working a full time job. She received a master degree in Computer Science from NYU and held high positions at Chase Manhattan Bank and Cantor Fitzgerald/eSpeed.
There are so many memories that will live in our hearts, and although she is no longer with us, these memories will never die. Which memories should we begin sharing? Should we commence by highlighting her personality? Then, we need to say foremost that even though she attained professional accomplishments, she always remained well rounded, humble, and always maintained love for her family, her sense of humor, her compassion, and her caring ways. She was an exceptional woman with the rare gift of excelling at everything and possessed the ability to emotionally connect with every member in our family, from our mother to our youngest nephew. Azucena took special care of her mother and made sure that all her needs were met. When her sister passed away five years ago, Azucena embraced her two nieces as if they were her own. She provided them with everything in her power. She counseled and guided them through her own example, and kept them on track whenever they wanted to go astray.
We will never forget Saturday barbeques by the pool, her quick hand to help, the precision of her math skills, or how she unconditionally welcomed us into her heart every time we needed comfort. Her garden will miss her touch and love; it will never blossom like it did with her. She was tragically taken from us, and our only hope is that her suffering was minute to none. We can only imagine that during those horrific moments of September 11th she was calm and acted wisely and precisely because that was the way she was. Nothing can fill this emptiness; our family is now an apple without a core.
Afita, you will always be remember as the most kind, thoughtful, intelligent, giving, generous and warm hearted a person is capable of being. While you were on this earth, God guided you and your ways; without a doubt you were just to good for this world and belonged in a better place. As much as it hurts us to let you go, you now belong in heaven waiting patiently to embrace whomever’s destiny is next. Dearest daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, and friend, we will not say farewell, but until we meet again. (source)