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The Neiboers are neighbors and active outdoors, so we get to see them often. So many times I saw kids respond to Anna’s confident appreciation in their abilities. Frankly, I aspire to have her calm. Here is one such moment. Once Henni was on our front porch and fell, hitting his mouth on the cement stairs. He was bleeding, sobbing and holding his mouth. I felt terrible and asked him if I could pick him up and walk him home. He agreed and we walked the few houses with my son going ahead to knock on their door and get Anna. She greeted us in her calm way, pushed up Henni’s lip, quickly examining the damage, and suggested he go inside and get an ice pack (though she called it something else, I am not recalling). Once he was on his way, she shrugged, gave me that famous Anna smile and said with a twinkle in her eye, “Hey, at least they’re baby teeth, right?”

Reading all of these memories and appreciations is stunning, not because I am learning anything surprising, but because there are so many similarities among them. Authentic. Joyful. Driven. Intelligent. Committed. Thoughtful. Confident. I cannot imagine a better list of character traits to lead a good life. And that she did, a righteous, beautiful life.

May her memory be for a blessing.