Thursday, August 02, 2018


As soon as I entered the Montreux Jazz Cafe, I saw her, my former Syria neighbor, now a doctor in Paris and author of books. We held our arms for the cheek kiss wasn't enough. It had been a year since we had seen each other in person.

William, the waiter, was between us. He held out his arms for a hug and we did.

And then it was my friend's time and me to hug.

We were with another friend and my husband and for the next two hours we played catch up in a way you can only do face-to-face despite things lik email, Facebook and Skype.

She and I had lived across the hall from each other for several years, sharing keys, meals, guest, worries, hopes, frustrations. Never did I come home from a trip that my refrigerator wasn't stocked and vice versa. I may have had the better deal with her Mideastern assortment of goodies.

She gave me her family and a knowledge and appreciation of her country far beyond what any tourist could discover. Some day, when things are quieter, I want to go back to see them. Until then, I am so grateful they've survived. If hours of worry would guarantee their safety, it would explain why they are still alive, only I know I am not that powerful. If I were the war would have been over years ago.

As is so typical in Geneva, people move on. Geographically, it is no longer possible to drop in on each other, BUT, our friendship to the level of family of choice, has stayed as strong.

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