Ana’s Kitchen

I bet she smiles in her sleep. Not like a “cheese” smile or anything but more like a peaceful grin. Ya know, that expression after sipping a warm tea or sampling a rich chocolate or falling asleep to your favorite song. Her expression reminded me of how I feel in my husband’s arms – full of joy, confident, at peace.

I only cooked with Ana for three days, but I felt so connected to this woman. Maybe it was our same height at 5 feet, 2 inches. We could look directly into each other’s eyes, the same greenish-blue color. But it was more than that. It was that expression, how she carried herself, the questions she asked and the ways she answered. Maybe it was how clearly she said my name, “Susan”. I can’t ever remember meeting another Moldovan who pronounced my name so accurately and clearly.

Whatever it was, it made our time together that much more meaningful and saying goodbye that much more difficult.


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