This is one of those things the universe dishes out that I don’t understand, how someone so totally alive could be taken so inexplicably.
I only knew Leila for about 9 months, but she inspired me and I looked up to her, literally and figuratively. She seemed like a mother bear ready to protect whatever she cared about, which it turns out, was a lot.
I really loved that I could talk to her about anything and she would know something about it. We once had a 15-minute conversation about homemade sauerkraut, for example. Her passion for writing inspired me as well.
I remember on some holiday, maybe Veterans’ day, I was home alone with no plans and she spontaneously invited me over to a little gathering she was having. I was the only single person but she made me feel like I belonged. The food was delicious and the napkins were beautiful and I am glad that I can remember her like that, happy with her family and friends and looking radiant.
Leila, wherever you are, I am glad to have known you. I wish your family healing and hope, and your spirit, peace.