From Nick

Dear Denny, Gigi and Andrey,
I was so deeply saddened when I heard about Maria’s passing. It seems surreal to me, as I’m sure it has been to you. I don’t think I got a chance to see her since her diagnosis. The last image I have is of her with her characteristic radiant smile, boundless vigor, and truly infectious positive energy. Looking through your memorial website gives me comfort that she fought to uphold those lovely qualities up until the very end.
I think back to all the times we spent together as two families, and how she was always the one to make us laugh, to suggest a new travel adventure, to bring out a delicious surprise dessert after we all thought she was done stuffing us with other delicious food, or to take us for a evening walk along the Thames, sometimes for no other reason than simply to breathe in life and enjoy it for all its worth.
I will always remember the warmth that you emanated as a family, always laughing together, celebrating the small moments. I can only hope that this positive family spirit remains even after the loss of one of its brightest stars.
I wish I had gotten the chance to see you all together one last time. Life is unfairly short sometimes, but if there ever was anyone who can continue to live through all the people she touched, that person is Maria.
We will all miss her dearly.
Sending all my love, sadness, and support your way. I hope I will get to see you all again in due time.
-Nick

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