Being raised by immigrant parents, English wasn’t spoken much at home so that we can learn and keep both Arabic and English. We were exposed to music, movies and other media in both languages but socialized more in Arabic. Starting elementary school was when I learned to better balance and socialize in both languages. During my first six months, a few people were of great help to me. Some staying in my life long after those months and for the many years that followed. One of those people was Marcelle Demetri.
It was something about her smile and warmth that attracted me to her when I was young and shy. Turns out, she’s an old family friend of my parents who happened to be working at Fairmont Elementary School as a teacher’s aide. Even after my elementary years, our families were always in touch. We were always at her home, playing with her dogs and watching movies. She baby sat us a lot during my parents separation.
Despite her illness, she was always there through the good and bad. During many difficult events in my life, I’ll never forget that she was there regardless. Rain or shine, stairs or elevator, this amazing strong woman defied being in a wheelchair with an amputated leg to be there for her friend’s family. People like her are one in a million, a true rare gem.
I always remembered her for her warm touching hugs and beautiful smile. Seeing her on Thursday, June 25th during her wake and knowing this was the last time I’ll see her smiling face was difficult. Touching her hand that had turned cold was just heartbreaking. She was an amazing and important part in my life.
I truly miss her know that she’s in a better and healthier place. May she rest in God’s eternal peace and light… AMEEN.