I sat at your table and enjoyed the best dishes from your native Palestine. Your daughters friends and you sat and talked, trying to make sense of this world in countless conversations. Sometimes we just laughed, and sometimes we just gave up and sighed in frustration over some topic that stumped us. The world outside your doors might have been filled with the 1960's and 70's news of wars and corrupt politicians, but inside there was the security of your graciousness, generosity and a cheerful dose of "let's not take anything too seriously" philosophy. I'll never forget how you stood by your kitchen counter and, invoking your inner Shirley Bassey, you sang at the top of your lungs"This is my house and I don't give a damn!" But, of course, you did give a damn. About the important things: Thank you for the laughter and joy that was your religion as much as your Catholocism. Thank you for translating Christ's love into your daily interactions, for modeling what it is to be a woman, and for accepting and “getting us” Diana Senior, all of the friends of your children that came over to your house. Thank you, and of course, for 'getting me'. For this I’ll be forever grateful.
I will also always attempt to carry with me that high standard of love and generosity I encountered always at your home, and hopefully reaching it in my own home when I offer the cup of coffee and welcome to a stranger in the same way that you generously offered these to me.