RIP Dolores Prida: An advice columnist like no other

Poet, playwright, journalist and columnist Dolores Prida died Sunday at the age of 69. She was a friend and colleague.

I'm so proud to have hired her to write the advice column, Dolores Dice, when I was editor of Latina magazine, which she wrote to her death. It was one of the best decisions I made. We wanted to create a space for Latinas to seek healing of their pain and christened the column with the Spanish word for pain, dolor, a place to heal many pains, espacio para dolores. It was our Hispanic woman's answer to Dear Abby.

A link to a CNN piece I wrote remembering her.

The New York born Cuban writer's eloquence, whimsy, fierce, and empowering voice and advice will be missed. If you take a look at the original illustration by Jordi Labanda, the hands, the attitude, the mouth, the pony tail--it's all Ms Prida, except of course, that she hardly wore moños, but she totally got that that is a fashion go to for Latinas.

Yesterday, I spent the day going through old columns. I was reminded of Ms Prida's brilliance and generous heart. Here is a gem titled You are strong, from the March 1999 issue of Latina. She writes:

You are strong

In response to all the mujeres who had had their hearts broken and their lives shattered y lovers or other strangers, here's an anonymous poem to help put together yourself back together again.

Comes the Dawn 
After a while, you learn the subtle difference 
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul
And you learn love doesn't mean leaning
And company doesn't mean security
And kisses aren't contracts
And presents don't mean promises
And you begin to accept your defeats 
With your head held high & your eyes open
With the grace of a woman- and not the grief of a child.

And you learn to build all your roads on today
Because tomorrow's ground is too uncertain for plans
And futures have a way of falling down in midflight
After a while you learn even sunshine...
Burns if you get too much.

So you plant your own garden
And you decorate your own soul
Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers
And you learn you really can endure
That you really have worth
And you learn and learn...

With every goodbye, 
You learn.


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