I am a friend of Leila’s Mom, Mary Edith, and I knew Leila almost entirely second-hand through the sort of conversations that Moms engage in, sharing thoughts and feelings about their grown kids.
Only in the past few days, since I learned of her passing, have I had a more direct emotional connection with Leila by reading her blogs. I have been so deeply moved by them that I found myself forwarding some excerpts to a dear friend of mine, a writer named Kenneth Ring, who is working on a book called Letters From Palestine, which presents the heartrending but often inspiring stories of Palestinians as they confront the challenges they must face in a world where being a Palestinian is a challenge in itself.
I sensed his heart would resonate particularly with Leila’s story about her father’s life. That was entirely accurate, so I am writing now to pass along his comments about Leila after reading it:
What a bright star this woman was — she must have lit up so many lives with her courage and beauty of soul. The story of her family’s life — its tragedies and horror, and the eventual hard-won success of her relatives — was also very inspiring. What an estimable and wonderful man her father was, and what an exemplary life he led. Leila’s homage to him was extremely moving — she was blessed to have such a father (and mother!), and to have so much of him inside her.
What a shame that such a woman had to die so young, leaving behind her children and her husband and no doubt a bereft mother, but it’s clear that she lived well until she died, that she knew how to live and how to die, and I have no doubt her life will continue to be celebrated even as her death is mourned. Thank you again for sharing this with me.