Minneapolis June 18th 2009
Memories of Denise,
I don't remember when or how I met Denise for the first time, probably was at Juanjo's house during a party not too long after I move to the United Sates in 1987. And probably it was as simple as Denise and me being introduced by someone and 5 minutes later seemed like we have known each other for ever. She had the ability to make friends and to be loved instantly by anyone that met her.
It is funny how some of the main events and people in life will cross into your path, change, mold you, and move out without you even noticing it. It is not until one reflects later on it, that one realizes how a decisive of a role that event or person played in your life.
Denise had that kind of influence on me and the people that were lucky enough to count her as a friend. Without any pretension, without even being aware of it, she impacted and influenced all of us and by that, she made us a little bit better persons.
I learned a lot from Denise:
I learned facts: From how to cut the stems of a bouquet of roses, so that they will last longer, to where to go for the best tea party in town, to how to brew beer, or handle difficult students and parents. Every time that I expressed my admiration for how much she knew about whatever the topic was, she was always very humble about it. I learned humility from Denise.
I don't recall one time in the last twenty some years that I have invited Denise to a dinner, party, singing carols , picnic etc, that she did not come,….. late that is true, very late……. sometimes but always there and always among the last ones to go. I can close my eyes and see her coming up to my house, with flowers in one hand and her blue party bag, with a good bottle of wine, the manchego cheese, the Spanish olives and her three tier dish inside, to make it all look beautiful. I learned style and good manners from Denise. Always ready to dance, to sign and to tell her joke about how do you say mujer insatisfecha en japones Ya ta? I learned how to have fun from Denise.
I learned how to be a good friend. The way Denise talked about her friends just made you want to know them, and when you finally did you always ended up being friends with them too. I am thankful to Denise for all the friends she has shared with me.
She also talked a lot about her mom and the things they'll do together and to tell you the truth, always made me a little bit sad because I live so far from my mom, but in more than one occasion after talking to Denise I got up and called my mom in Spain. I learned from Denise how to be a better daughter.
But more than anything I learned from Denise the right way to live life. The light on her blue eyes, her beautiful smile, the kind word always prepared and the contagious optimism are all sum up of one of Denise's favorite saying every time we did a toast "Salud, Dinero, Amor y tiempo para disfrutarlo" "Health, love, money, and the time to enjoy it"
I will miss talking, singing, cooking paellas, dancing, and laughing at the same old jokes with her. But I am grateful to her for reminding me always that life is a beautiful present and we have to enjoy it. Gracias Denise.