An energetic send-off for Anita, riding to the cemetery on the back of Luis' bike with German flag / New Jersey / Oct. 6, 2009
Anita was my friend.
When I think of Anita, I think of beauty. Her beautiful smile. Her voice greeting me - the special way she said my name, Leeesa. Her affectionate hugs. Her laugh. Her enthusiasm. Her energy. The way she would say, Hey, check it out.
I think of the beautiful garments that she knitted. The way I got to know Anita is through our knitting group. Anna and Anita knit using the German style which is fast and efficient. I knit in the clunkier American way - slower and not so efficient. I remember watching Anita knit socks with four double pointed needles and marveling how she always knew which needle to go to.
She was also a skilled seamstress. She could fix things that were torn or needed to be hemmed or alter something to make it fit. And she created beautiful objects with her sewing machine. One year for our Christmas knitting party she made us sturdy tote bags from laminated pieces of paper that she had sewn together. It is a real work of art - and beautiful, both inside and out.
Anita surrounded herself with beauty. Her house is filled with beautiful, interesting objects and collections. She created a magical atmosphere in her backyard for her summer parties - hundreds of tiny white lights strung across the whole backyard, little seating nooks everywhere with couches and tables, candles all around including under the long tables. The atmosphere transported you from New Jersey to a German beer garden.
When I came out of the hospital last week and got in the car, Twist and Shout was playing on the radio and it reminded me of Anita's 60s parties. I loved watching Luis and Anita dance at those parties. They could salsa like crazy - Paulo and I would get Luis to teach us the moves, but we didn't have that hip action … the two of them were really something to watch.
Anita surrounded herself with beautiful things. She created beautiful things. She was a beautiful person inside and out.
Anita adorned and beautified the world.
And she adorned and beautified my life by being my friend.