If we were to describe Denise, we will say that "she was a friend to her friends". Only that she had friends all over the world. During the last week we have called: Spain, Costa Rica, Peru, Mexico, Argentina, Chile and Uruguay These are some of the countries where she had friends. If you knew Denise, you knew about her friends too. The way Denise talked about her friends just made you want to know them. And when you finally met them, they became your own friends.
Denise's passion for life was contagious. She loved nature, camping, canoeing, walking in the woods, bird watching. She was a true citizen of the world. She cooked paella for friends, she made lefsa for others, and she could prepare the best Argentinian mate. Denise would embrace the culture and she would become an expert on that culture. She would let you know and teach you about it. Many of us have learned about our own culture through her. When the group of Spanish women was created a few years ago, there was no discussion about the fact that Denise had to be part of it , because she was a true Spaniard at heart
Denise had a heart of gold, always there to listen and help. She could be a sister, a friend , a mother a shoulder to cry on and the best person to celebrate the happy times. She was a great storyteller also. Who doesn't remember one of her stories? She even won a story telling contest about a time that she met a woman on a train in Spain that showed her a picture of her husband and Denise said I met this guy two years ago in a disco bar.
She had a great memory. She could remember names, special ocasions, little details, and she could sing all the verses of almost any song In Spanish Swedish and English.
We don't recall one time in the last twenty some years that Denise has been invited to a dinner party, picnic, singing carols etc that she did not come………..late that is true, very late sometimes but always there with flowers in one hand and her blue party bag filled with a good bottle of wine, manchego cheese, Spanish olives and her three tier dish , to make it all look beautiful.
But more than anything, Denise will be remembered for the sparkle in her blue eyes, her beautiful smile, the kind words always prepared and the contagious optimism. One of Denise's favorite sayings sums up her view of life: every time we did a toast Denise would say " Salud, dinero, amor y tiempo para gozarlo" " Health, love, money and time to enjoy it"
We will miss talking, singing, cooking paellas, dancing and laughing at the same old jokes with her. But we are grateful to her for reminding us always that life is a beautiful present and we have to enjoy it. Thank you for your sharing your life with us.