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Literature is an escape, a shared expression of humanity, a place where our thoughts go hiding and exploring, and where we find solace. Mankind wants a record of where we stood as individual beings and as societies.

At our beginning and end, we crave love. Love, in all its forms and in its absence, defines us. The sacrifices and choices we make shape our perceptions and capacity to give and receive love. Sometimes love walks into our life unexpectedly in an instant. The toughest and strongest among us have been struck by lightning, dropping our tidy briefcases and laughing as we gather everything that’s spilled out. Coffee turns into breakfast into lunch into dinner into love.

After the twin bombings at the Boston Marathon and the devastation and heroism that followed, that always follows a tragedy or acts of evil – not just in the United States but in every corner of the world, it is our compassion and love and empathy that gives us our individual identity.

Remember to love. Remember that not every love story has a beginning, middle, and end. Some love stories are just a chapter, a little respite in the storm. Others begin with lightning and burst into flames and consume us. A few sustain and enrich us, are like breathing oxygen.

If I knew that today would be the last time I’d see you, I would hug you tight and pray the Lord be the keeper of your soul. If I knew that this would be the last time you pass through this door, I’d embrace you, kiss you, and call you back for one more. If I knew that this would be the last time I would hear your voice, I’d take hold of each word to be able to hear it over and over again. If I knew this is the last time I see you, I’d tell you I love you, and would not just assume foolishly you know it already.” — Gabriel Garcia Marquez

—Media Lizzy