LeilaAbuSaba

Condolences

Please leave your message of condolence for Leila’s family in the comments field below.

Thank you.

  1. Dear Leila, please rest in peace.

  2. Rainy day in Rome, and random thoughts of dear Leila Abu Saba. Miss you, Leila — your gusto for life, your shriek of laughter, your strong positions on pretty much everything, until one realized it was the only and right take — just, inquisitive, and liberal, in the deepest sense. You will always be with us.

  3. Dear Family of Laila Abu Saba, Her husband David, her sons Jacob and Joseph,

    I dont know you, neither I know laila until the last 20 minuits.You will be amazed how I crossed on her site and what did move me to write to you.First let me extend my true condolences and deep sympathies for her loss. May God bless her soul and I assure you she is ina better place. How i crossed on her site and why am I writing you. I was searching for my name in google ! I was promoting holy land olive oil but not any more as it is a very competitive. I was searching and contacting all websites to remove my information for good. Then moving from a link to a link I reached Laila website and the section about holy land olive oundil and found my info you can read it at the link below

    http://bedouina.typepad.com/doves_eye/2004/08/holy_land_olive.html

    I then was touched about her passing away fighting cancer, her hope to see peace, her positivity and longing for a better future for palestinans and israelis, for some reason she added the post under dove’s eyes to promote us and the farmers and i truely respect that…i was going to ask to be removed before I read about her but surely not now.Such woman with her strong beliefs and not knowing her only reading about her on the world wide web means a lot. God for some reason wanted me to read about her and I did. Her loss was too soon I fell with you but her deeds and beliefs and hope are long lasting and she spreadedi her word i am sure great deal of hope, work in her community. I will finalise with another thing that moved me big time I was born on 26 July! But 1980, what acoincidence in 20 minuites….I was also touched by what she wrote and that also touched my heart big time and resembles her wisdom I will quote below. May her soul rest in peace and for Jacob and Joseph I say they are proud they had such a great mother.I will remember her even i did know her or meet her, I will pray for her in my prayers…..

    Upon returning from her family home in Lebanon a year ago while living with metastatic breast cancer, Leila wrote:

    “So please, friend, bless what you have and let go of fear for the future. Today is the only day you have got. You are breathing. Enjoy your breath. You are alive. Enjoy your life. You have a daughter and parents. Love them. Bless everybody who comes across your path. And the work? Whatever. Bless your work, too. Bless your town, your bills, your possessions. You are lucky to be here for all of it. If some of it gets taken away, well fine, something else will take its place. You are an amazing confluence of billions of variables and nobody else is having your life right this minute.

    Enjoy! And don’t worry about hope. Just breathe and appreciate your breath. Everything arises from that.”

    Peace, dear sister Leila.

  4. Terribly sad to find out today that Leila is gone.
    Kindest Regards to her family.
    We met about 30 years ago as undergraduates at Oberlin College in Ohio.
    She quizzed me on my last name, then excitedly announced that her great-grandfather was the overseer at the Gerard Institute in Sidon (which was also her dad’s high school), which my own great-grandfather helped found.
    Years later, we exchanged a few e-mails after a google search for Gerard led me to a blog post of hers.
    You all know great soul her from her writings – let me also testify to what a striking young woman she was to behold, fearless and lovely.

  5. One of my true regrets is that I didn’t write this while Leila was still here, on this side. I found her website accidentally when I was trying to, of all things, check out the history of hummous.

    I never met Leila but I always wanted to tell her how proud I have been of her humanity, her eloquence, her grace. She is a role model not only for Arab American women but for all of us.

    Gentle, courageous, smart. She also helped me find the history of hummous.

    To her family, always be proud.

    Lovingly,

    John Zogby

  6. I Miss You

  7. I write Syria Comment, a blog that Layla often read and commented on. I admired her humanity, kindness, and wisdom greatly and always looked forward to corresponding with her and hearing her reactions to the latest news, book or reading her blog. We all miss her and appreciate the delight and happiness that she radiated.

    Joshua Landis

  8. My wife and I just returned from a pilgrimage to Israel and the Palestinian territories. We learned much about the struggles of the Palestinian people, and were struck by the gentleness, optimism and hope of the people we met. And we loved the food!

    I found Leila’s website while searching for a mjaddarah recipe. That led to her homepage and The Dove at Peace article. I could tell immediately that Leila was an incredible person! I’ve reread her amazing note on hope and blessings several times, and each time it impresses and inspires me more.

    My condolences to Leila’s family and personal friends. I wish I could have known her, but her message leaves me with renewed optimism that there are many other gentle and peaceful people out in the world that I have yet to meet. Peace to all.

  9. I was looking for a review of the book “The invisible Mountain” when I found the blog by Leila.Immediately I thought: “What a wopderful person, I want to learn something more about her”. Unfortunately I soon discovered that she had died…Even though I did not know her I am sad for this, since I won’t have the opportunity to enter in touch with her. I am sure she was a wonderful woman.

  10. Grief out of time. It had been over three years since I spoke with Leila, that I learned of her passing. That was late 2009. And now mid 2010, it is some kind of wonder that as I learn to live a fuller life, my appreciation for Leila grows deeper.

    I am moved as I read all the tributes. Why did such a one – who lived and loved truly; who touched so many – depart? That mystery is beyond me and ruminating it, at the expense of living, would not be a fitting tribute. Instead, I will embrace her memory as I strive to live, love and connect more deeply. She taught me much and inspired me in so many ways.

    I am very sorry for the loss, especially to David and the boys; Leila’s parents and brother. My thoughts and heartfelt condolences are with you.

  11. I learned only now of Leila’s passing – beautiful, brave spirit – I send my homage to Leila and heartfelt wishes to her loved ones that they may overcome their grief…in arabic they say ‘may the rest of her life be yours’ meaning nothing is wasted, and that she is present in those whose lives she touched.

    she touched mine, to my good fortune,
    maasalama Leila bella, from maria in cairo

  12. I have just came across Laila’s blog , and as I was reading through the blog found out that she has passed away.She moved me in a way I can’t describe.My condolences to her husband and sons.
    may she rest in peace.
    ameen

  13. I met Leila when she read at a Litquake event I organized to celebrate literature in translation, and was struck by her strength and passion. Since we were in touch by email for a little while afterwards, I saw how generous she was in sharing ideas with a fellow writer. Her work in the community is far reaching, I am sure. My condolences for your loss…it’s a loss for the rest of the world as well.

  14. I am so very sorry to learn of Leila’s passing. I had not heard from her much since July 2009, and as the weeks ticked past, I suspected the worst. I remember well her avid participation in and out of fiction writing workshops at Mills. She most definitely was a powerful and positive fighter, in so may ways. I learned a tremendous amount about her, her battle, and her culture, from following her blog. My deepest condolences to her family.

  15. Dear Dr. Abu-Saba,
    I can only say how sorry I am for your great loss. My dad and I were in shock when Basma informed me a week ago. Although I never had the chance to meet Leila, I had always the feeling that I knew her through you. I remember what you used to say about her, and I remember as well how your eyes used to glisten when you talked about her.
    Sincere and deepest condolences from me and my family.
    My heart goes with you and the family.

  16. I, too, never met Leila in person. We connected through Facebook and I instantly was enamored by her. We corresponded for sometime and she was very encouraging and sweet to me. Her writings always made me cry especially when she wrote about Lebanon and her father. She truly touched my life and impacted it. A few days before I found out she had passed away I was thinking about her and wondering why I haven’t seen her on FB for a while.
    I offer you my deepest condolences and pray that you are able to bear her physical absence.

    Imane

  17. Dearest David and Mary,
    I am quite shocked and completely sadden by the news of Leila, as I was trying to contact her on Face Book, to try and reconnect. I just stumbled on the news and I am just so sorry!!!! I have been thinking about her lately, remembering the times when we both had with our babies so close in age together. Sitting in one another´s living room and chatting about being new moms, sharing birthday´s their birthdays, and wonderful meals together. I will always remember Leila as such a down to earth, intelligent, funny, compassionate and just the most loveliest persons I have ever met. I just wished I kept more in touch since we moved to Iceland. I sincerely wish you and all of the family strength and comfort among one another.
    Love, Kathy, Jökull and Finnur

  18. A month after her passing, I still find myself thinking of Leila. I only knew her a short time – we were in a writing group together very briefly. But she touched me through our interactions via Twitter and Facebook with her deep passion for everything she believed in, including her dedication to the Oakland community and belief that things can be better here. It seems that she lived her entire life with this compassion and optimism. I send my (belated) condolences to her husband and sons.

  19. You all have my deepest sympathies on the loss of a friend and a loved one. As a frequent traveler to Lebanon, I stumbled across Leila’s blog and was instantly captivated. Her brilliant thoughts and perspectives will most certainly stay with me always.

  20. It was my pleasure to have Leila as a yoga student. She was filled with light and verve and always had a smile and kind word. May her family find peace during this difficult time. Namaste’

  21. Anyone who lived in Leila’s world for a moment felt her contagious hope and humor. May her spirit and words inspire those obligated to continue her work.

  22. I only knew Leila from visiting her blog, but please accept my condolences. God rest her soul.

  23. I was so saddened by the news of Leila’s passing. It’s just heartbreaking to lose someone with such a powerful spirit, such a generous heart, and such a unique voice. My heartfelt condolences and deepest sympathies for her family. We will all miss her.

  24. My deepest sympathy to Leila’s family. I have followed her blog and have been greatly inspired by her message of hope, staying true to one’s heart, her positive energy and her visionary outlook. She had a special voice, and her contribution to a better world will live on. My condolences to all of her loved ones.

  25. Dear Mary and all of Leila’s surviving family members,
    I can only imagine how difficult it must be to let go… and although I didn’t have the pleasure of knowing Leila, I recall at at her father’s memorial, how much of a wonderful presence she had.
    May love, peace and serenity through loved ones and community members comfort you all now and in the years to come.
    Om Shanti (In Peace)

  26. I never met Leila, which is my loss. The accolades written so far speak to her warmth of spirit, brilliance of mind, and her kindness. Mary, you are suffering what i have always feared: the loss of a child. My heart goes out to you.

  27. Mary Edith, I cannot imagine the pain you are feeling… I just want you to know your your old high school friends have you in their prayers. Your daughter, from what I have read, definitely left her mark on the world. You and your husband must be so very proud, as you should be. She sounds like a remarkable young woman! Take care of yourself and your family.

  28. Leila was The Dove, The Angel of Stories that mattered. She discovered human beings and their activities that brought Light to Earth and helped close the distances between people. Leila is embedded in our memories by the photos of her and her sons at San Francisco’s Marina Green on May 22, 2005. At http://traubman.igc.org/kites.htm SEE loving-Leila — even then defying cancer — with color in her cheeks and kites that she sent soaring just as inspired others to ascend with their love and creativity toward the highet they could become together and never apart. Oh, how Leila blessed and taught us.

  29. I came across the dove’ eye blog one day a year ago. I was looking at lentil recipes and started reading the blog sort of regularly.

    I am so sorry to hear that Leila has had to leave her family and friends. May she have peace and may her family and all those who loved and appreciated her have peace.

    Om shanti, Shanti means Peace,

    Shamba aka sheri

  30. Some of us simply take from this world, doing more harm than good to our planet and tothe people with whom we share it.

    Some of us live in such a way that we have little to no impact on the world and the people with whom we share this planet. We just quietly exist, doing little damage, but also doing little good.

    Then there are those who leave giant footprints for good and leave those with whom they have contact as better persons. And when they are gone they deserve to have said of them, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” Leila, well done. Mary Edith and Elias taught you well, and you have left large footprints for good in this world and in the hearts of people who knew you or followed you through your writings and blog.

    Mary Edith, my friend, your heart may break with pain, but it also must swell with pride.

  31. We have lost Leila but her memory will always live in our hearts. She worked for justice and peace in the Middle East. She talked from her heart and defended human rights. Now she rests in peace and her suffering becomes ours.

    Now it is our turn to carry her flame and light the path for those who want to live in peace.

    My condolences to David, Jacob and Joseph, and to Mary Abu Saba and all the Abu Saba family.

    Nabil Wahbeh

  32. Dearest Mary Edith and Khalil,
    We are so sorry to hear of Leila’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you both. Please convey our thoughts to her husband and sons.
    Much Love,
    Rowena and David

  33. I only know David and Leila as casual friends and only saw them occasionally. I remember Leila as always greeting me with a warm smile and an open spirit. When I saw Leila and David together it was obvious to me how strong of a bond they shared.
    Her memorial service was beautiful and touching and I was impressed with the readings from her novel. Her writing was sensitive, insightful and addressed some of the most profound questions that we face as human beings. I’ll miss her smile and her lovely spirit. My condolences to David, her sons and all her family and friends.

  34. Privileged to have known Leila through our yoga class, we received the generous gifts of her hopeful heart, her rich intelligence and her deep loving spirit. To her family we send a heart felt wish for comfort at your immeasurable loss.

  35. I only “knew” Leila via Rec.food.cooking, but we connected. I always liked her. We both stopped contributing there but I often thought of her. I have recently completed chemo and radiation myself and thought of Leila often throughout my ordeal, hoping she was doing well. Always afraid to ask. I found her blog right after her birthday and left a comment but I doubt she saw it. At any rate, I sit here, sobbing for a woman I hardly knew but who touched my life. That was Leila!

    Please accept my sincerest condolences for your tremendous loss. She was a bright shining light in this world who will be missed by so many. Please take comfort in knowing that your grief is shared by many. She is reunited with her beloved father, the Tabbouleh King, Every time I make their Tabbouleh recipe, I think of Leila, and I always will. RIP, friend.

  36. I am sorry for the death of a loved one. This love aches to love one who left before her time and before we were ready. Her love for healing others – her love for us – lives on in the ways we love and help heal others.

    “What is the cause of death? Life.” -Ibn Zabara.
    “What is the cause of life? Death.” -Dion

    “Love is as strong as death.” -Song of Solomon.

    “The garden of love is green without limit and yields many fruits other then sorrow or joy. Love is beyond either condition: without spring, without autumn, it is always fresh.” -Rumi

  37. I corresponded with Leila by email and read her comments on the neighborhood listserv with admiration and interest. She had good insight and promoted the positive side of people and the neighborhood. When I finally saw and met her; she was walking with her boys. I was driving and rolled down my window and called to her: “Leila?” She recognized me and returned a greeting with my name. She was intelligent and compassionate, and deeply cared about her neighbors as she did her family. My deepest sympathies to family for her loss.

  38. I am very sorry to say that I never got to meet Leila. I was one of the fortunate participants in our neighborhood list serve who would read her posts. She spoke from her heart with such love, kindness and respect. I truly regret that I never did say thank you to her – I imagined I would run into her at Farmer Joe’s or at Full House, to thank her in person. May she know my appreciation.

    My condolences to her family and friends. May her memory be for a blessing.

    From a grateful neighbor on Maybelle Avenue.

  39. Dear Mary and to the rest of your family,
    We are so sorry to hear about Leila. Our hearts and prayers go out to you and your family and friends of your family. May her spirit and works live on to help others in their search for meaning in this life.

  40. We wish to express our heartfelt sympathy and sorrow at the passing of this wonderful person who was daughter, wife, mother and great friend and associate to so many. We knew her through her mother-in-law Celeste McCleod our great friend since our beginning acquaintance at Library School at Cal in 1967. Your family is in our thoughts.

  41. Dear Mary
    I am so very sorry for your loss. I know what it is to lose a child, whatever his or her age. It is definitely the hardest thing a parent can go through. Leila was obviously a beautiful person, in and out. She was in the prime of her life and needed by you and by her family. Life has been so unfair to your family these last few years, but I know you are a strong woman and will remember Leila in the faces of her children and husband. I am thinking of you and hoping you can bear this ordeal with your family, as much as possible. May she rest in peace.

    Muna Jurdak

  42. Leila, your light has touched a world, given hope to it, enlightened it, and enriched it. You will be missed. You will be remembered!
    ———————–

    To Leila’s family and loved ones, I add my prayers of love and peace to the many others coming your way. (You may or may not remember me and my husband, Neal. We have briefly interacted from time to time with some of you over the years at occasions or events when we were guests of Karen Bentley Pollick.)

    May you be blessed and comforted now and in the days ahead. Leila was as blessed by you as you were by her. I hope you always remember that you were in each other’s lives because you completed each other in very special ways. The gifts you shared through your mutual time together will last forever and can never be taken from you nor diminished.

    ——————————–

    Thank you, Leila, for willingly sharing your spirit with the world. Thank you family for sharing Leila with us. Thank you, God, for everything!

    With love and sympathy,
    Robin Novotny

  43. I was a reader of Leila’s blog, and we exchanged a few emails; as such I can’t say I knew her all that well. So I’m surprised how much her death has affected me, and how much I miss her presence in the world — or, in my case, on the net, which is how I encountered her.

    So I can hardly begin to imagine the loss that those of you who knew her and loved her in person are feeling.

    She did a lot of good in the world, and was a wonderful person in many ways, and I hope you can take some solace in that, and in how many people she touched.

    All my sympathies for your loss.

  44. I took Leila to a chemo treatment in San Francisco. She was so joyful at the hosptital, introducing me to fellow patients and medical professionals. She made it into a social event. On the ride home to Oakland she lifted her beret to show me her “fuzz” and it amazed me how she still looked as beautiful as always. She was headed to Lebanon, again, and so full of life. I am totally shocked at her recent passing. We met almost 20 years ago in Berkeley and I watched as she went from single woman, to wife, to mother as well as being a writer, an activist, a healer, a traveler. I like to think she has left a little of herself in each of us who loved her and that we will continue the journey of wonder and peace. David, Joseph and Jacob and all Leila’s family and friends are in my prayers at this tender time.

  45. I always liked & respected Leila for her wisdom, insight, and general kind personality. She was always kind and thoughtful with me in any encounter. I took comfort in her growth over the years and saw her successes as hope for my own. I remember how much FUN she was back when groups of us used to hang out together. She was deeply loved, and I offer my prayers for her spirit’s transition & her family’s comfort. I know she loved you all deeply, & her spirit will remain near you ALWAYS! My deepest condolences to you all for her passing.

  46. I didn’t know Leila well–I met her in a magzine writing workshop just as I was finishing the program at Mills and she was beginning–but I was struck by her vibrance and enthusiasm for writing and life. Her presence, the way she listened and was curious and genuine and kind will stay with me and inspire me to approach each moment with that same child-like innocence and lust for life. When I reconnected with her years later on Facebook she generously gave me advice on how to be a mother and a writer.

    My thoughts go out to her husband and two sons.

  47. My deepest condolences go to Leila’s family. Leila could see the world for all that it is, make room for all that is true, and still have hope and belief in humanity. I will miss her voice and her example. Leila’s love of family, food and justice is well chronicled; hopefully these writings will bring comfort to her family, especially her kids, for the years to come.

  48. I am so sorry for Leila’s families loss. I met her in high school, Mac Arthur, Decatur, IL. We would walk to school together often. I remember eating breakfast with her and her family. I was just wondering about her recently so this is a real shock. She was really accomplished. I’m sure you are all proud of her. She was a great and interesting woman and friend.

  49. David and family: I am thinking of you a lot during this time.
    Please call on me for anything I can do to support you, David. I’m looking forward to seeing you on Saturday.

    I was quite sad to learn of Leila’s passing. She painted life with a very big and amazing paint brush! It was such luck that night several months back when our babysitter flaked and you guys came to our house for an intimate visit. I will never forget that night, the conversation, the fun time we had together.

  50. Here is a link to condolences from a cooking chat that Leila frequented: http://www.cookingjunkies.com/rec-food-cooking/leila-28482.html

  51. I remember first meeting Leila, scarf on her head, and being amazed at her energy and generosity – battling cancer and still finding time to not just participate in neighborhood activities but drive change in her thoughtful, inspiring, and grounded way. She brought sanity so many times to list serv postings with her writings and spirit. Seeing her hair return and energy buoyed over the years brought a smile to my face! I’ll remember her greetings as she walked past the house on a quick walk, her energy, her drive and spirit in all that she did – we were blessed to have her as a part of our community. My heart goes out to the boys and her family.

  52. Dear Dr. Abu-Saba,

    I can only say how sorry I am for your loss. I didn’t know Leila but I remember you very well talking about her and I always felt I knew her somehow. I got to know her now through her friends’comments and her blogs and I am really sad I never had the opportunity to meet her. Accept my condolences.
    My heart is with you and your family.

  53. 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.
    Diana

  54. I only met Leila once at a Laurel Village event, and was struck by how strikingly beautiful she was. Otherwise, I knew her only through her posts on the neighborhood lists. Her messages were always distinguished by sweetness, openness, and desire for everyone to understand each other and get along. She is someone I would have liked to get to know better. I hope that friends and family find comfort and strength in each other and in her memory.

  55. John & I are very saddened to hear of Leila’s passing..She was such a gracious & dynamic lady and an asset to the Laurel Village !! She was able to jump start the jam making secession this last spring with her delicious recipes for marmalade & sauerkraut..My last encounter with Leila was this past summer at Farmer Joe’s. She had told me that “it” had come back and while we were traveling through Italy there was no church or candle that I didn’t say a prayer for her to win this battle…
    To her family, it was our honor to have her at our meetings & events..Words cannot express our sorrow and we can only hope that you find some peace in knowing that she was dearly loved in our community!!!! As we,too, had a family death this week, we feel blessed to have had these people as part of our family circle. But in our case Dad was 91 and Leila was just too young.. We shall continue to honor her spirit with the projects we do in the community this year!!!!!

    Sincerely,
    Jo-Ann & John Donivan on Wisconsin St.
    Laurel Village Association

  56. Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
    And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
    And how else can it be?
    The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
    Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?
    And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
    When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
    When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

    Some of you say, “Joy is greater thar sorrow,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.”
    But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
    Together they come, and when one sits, alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

    Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
    Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.
    When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.

  57. My deepest sympathies and heart go out to Leila’s family thank you for everything, and for giving me the chance and opportunity to have met leila, one of the most courageous and amazing people ive come to know, she has one of the best husband, and children jacob and joseph that i know, and family, i appreciate the conversations that leila and i had, and i wanted to let you know that I am here for you all whenever you need any help im there, thank you for your strength, hope for peace and comfort in your heart during this difficult time, i love you very much, and know that I think of you everyday, there isnt a day when i dont think of you all, nor is there anything i wouldnt do for you all.

  58. My deepest sympathy to you and the children. I look to you and your
    wife as true role models for me to live my life by. She will live in my heart forever. The universe will take care of u and the children.
    The 2 of you are role models for me to live my life by. Life has four
    season and the sun will shine again. May God Bless you and the children. If there is anything my wife and I can do to help, please let us know. When I am in trouble I ask myself what would David and Lela do? IT is real privilege to have known your wife.

    Love,
    Phil& Luz

  59. I remember the first time we met Leila and David, when you did the puppets in Marin. Her smile lit up the place, even at night, and she and David were clearly in love. Later when we got to mee her Dad and Mom it was easy to see how the blending of the East and the South (United States) had produced such a gem. The times, though brief and intermitten, are strong memories, all of them good. We will miss her, but remember her for the light and goodness she shared.

  60. Dearest Members of Leila’s family and friends:

    What a warrior Leila was and is! Her desire to live, to defeat the cancer demon, gave me such strength and hope as I fought my own battle with breast cancer that began on March 6, 2008. Karen Bentley kept me updated as to Leila’s health, and every report was always followed by words of hope and intention to beat her disease.

    Losing one of our loved ones is the hardest part of life. The pain and emptiness is searing; there is deep unrest, questions, and misery as it just does not seem fair. It is true. Life is not fair. Losing Leila is not fair. What is important, in the end, is HOW we live our lives, and HOW we take what we are dealt and MAKE A DIFFERENCE. Leila made a difference. Leila left a legacy of hope, joy, and dedication to living fully that is a gift to all who were fortunate enough to have crossed her path.

    To Leila’s sons: I am heartbroken at your loss. I will keep you in my prayers. This will be one of the most difficult times in your lives. Be strong. Cry together. Laugh together. Remember her together. Carry on her legacy of HOPE, APPRECIATION FOR LIFE, AND COMMITMENT TO FAMILY AND DREAMS.
    God gave you such an awesome Mother! What she gave you can never be taken away. She will live in your heart, your mind, your memories of life with her. THAT LIVES ON FOREVER!

    I will look forward to reading Leila’s book as soon as it is published.

    If there is ever ANYTHING I can do, IN ANY WAY, just ask.

    God bless every one of you. My prayers are with you.

    With deepest sympathy, and love for you,

    Love, Sylvia Michiels

  61. I’ve followed Leila’s words and accomplishments vicariously for a number of years, her posts during the Proposition 8 fiasco in the neighborhood brought me to tears. I am so very sorry for your loss. She was a great force of good.

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