Myrna Maldonado

World Trade Center

Years Later, ROMANCE Again

While growing up in a Rockland County children's home, Myrna Maldonado learned that Wilfredo Agosto liked her, because he threw rocks at her. Somehow his routine worked, and she liked him back, but for one reason or another, the two did not became a couple. 'I was a little crazy back then,' Mr. Agosto said. 'She was a lot more mature than I was.'

After leaving the home — where they had ended up with their siblings because of dead or ill parents — they each found partners, had children and barely heard about each other. It was not until last year, when Ms. Maldonado, 49 and single in the Bronx, was told by one of her sisters that Mr. Agosto was divorced and living in North Carolina with his three children, that they acted on what she called 'this-meant-to-be thing.'

'Hi Wilfredo. This is Myrna — a blast from the past,' he recalled hearing on his answering machine one day. He said, 'I knew my time finally came.' In April, 40 years after they had first met, they were married. Ms. Maldonado initially planned to retire from her job as a systems designer for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey at 1 World Trade Center and move down with him by next June, after the youngest of her two sons graduated from high school. Then she moved up the date to this December. 'She always said to me, 'Do it right and enjoy it all, because you don't know how much time you've got,' ' her new husband said.

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on October 1, 2001.

Myrna Maldonado
New York Port Authority

Maria Santiago of Unionville lit a candle last month for her sister, Myrna Maldonado, who was lost Sept. 11. The two sisters last saw each other at a reunion in July at the orphanage where they stayed as children. Maldonado was last seen comforting terrified strangers near the 70th floor of the World Trade Center. She was a mother of two and a sister to Maria Santiago Frances Maldonado Mercado, Zonia Maldonado Sanchez, Raymond Maldonado and Yvonne Mercado Santiago.

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