We met for the first time in the doorway of my hotel room in Stamford, CT two days ago (though we had talked on the internet and phone). Henry had been sleeping already for an hour and I had been sitting anxiously waiting texting a few people to pray for me. I suddenly didn’t know how this would go. She met my brother Vinny in a souvenir shop in Afghanistan in 2003 or 2004. She was working there because, although she is an attorney, the pay in her native city Bishkek was beneath survival rate. He told her she was beautiful in her own language and after months of funny one-liners from him and losing track of each other, they became deep friends. She was standing in front of me and could quite possibly be one of the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. We didn’t get past the threshold before both of us were reduced to sobs. It was a moment I never thought would happen. Such a miraculous blessing from God. One that almost made me feel like for four hours my brother was there in the room with us. But the stories and tears and laughter made me miss him so much when the reality of the situation became very fresh again. I am so thankful he is in a better place but there isn’t a day that goes by that I will not miss him with my whole heart. It was nice to sit with such a wonderful person who knew him in across the world. Knew his short comings, his deep pain, his loving and generous heart, and his deep love for God. What a treasure to be together after three years and celebrate a life we love so much. I am so grateful. I would like to say that I am so strong that I don’t do sad. I recently heard someone say that who lost their daughter in a car accident three years ago. I admire her strength. I guess I have admit that I do sad because the last few days, although so thankful to God, have been bittersweet – joy mixed with sorrow. Lots of tears.
I will deeply miss you, Saltanat. I am so thankful for your life. You are an amazing person inside and out.
More later… hopefully.