Her Courage and Strength
For Edna Cintron and her husband, William, every evening fit into a comforting routine. "She had everything prompt, clean, neat, organized," Mr. Cintron, a 44-year- old doorman, said of his 46-year-old wife, an administrative assistant for Marsh & McLennan. "She would come out of work, come home, cook, make sure that when I would come out of work there was food on the table and everything. And every night we would have ice cream and we would watch TV."
That simple routine in their home in East Elmhurst, Queens, was remarkable, Mr. Cintron said, because they each had been homeless, and in their 12 years of marriage they had struggled with his alcoholism. "We started from the bottom," he said, "and we worked our way all the way up to the top," even opening a florist business, Sweet William's, in East Harlem.
Mr. Cintron said that his wife had given him the courage to go to detox and that last January he celebrated 12 years of sobriety. "She made sure that she kept me in check," he said. "She made sure that I did the things I was supposed to do. She was a very, very strong woman because she would put her foot down.
"She was more like a mother to me. She would make sure that I would eat right and she would make sure that no one would manipulate me. So she was also my backbone. She made me strong. She made me who I am today."
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on November 24, 2001.