Dearest Gail, Nico, Rob, friends,
I feel blessed to know that I was one of Nina's very close friends. We got to know each other by spending a year abroad together, studying Arabic in Jordan.
She and I were different in a number of ways, but something about her beauty, her energy, her intelligence, her friendliness instantly attracted me to her, and over the course of the year, we became very close friends.
One of the things I liked most about Nina is that I never had any doubts about the way she felt about people or things. She always made herself very clear.
I'm not saying that Nina wasn't complex or indecisive she was, we all know that. Nina took forever to make decisions. They dragged on and on. But at least, she never pretended to be sure of herself if she wasn’t.
When Nina wasn't happy about something, or didn't adore someone, she made it very easy to find out. She was wonderfully simple to be around.
If Nina didn't really want to go to your party, she would tell you.
If she didn't want to eat your food, she would tell you.
If you were giving her too much homework -- or too little homework, for that matter -- she would tell you.
It wasn't always pleasant, but at the very least, you never had to worry, or try to guess how she was feeling, or walk on eggshells around Nina. She spared you that effort. Said. Done.
And of all the people I have loved this fully, I think I had to worry about Nina the least. I could always trust she was doing her thing and she'd take care of herself.
Which is why this particular tragedy, which brought us here together today, is so haunting.
Nina forced people to be honest with each other. And if she told you she loved you, and she did that a lot, because she cared for people, she would do it without reserve, without a shred of ambiguity. There was never a question that she meant every word. She would write things like "lots of giant hugs." Who writes things like that?
Gail and Nico, thank you for raising such a genuine gal. She was always right there with us.
Rob, thank you for all the times you teased and annoyed your sister growing up -- it’s how she learned to stand up for herself.
Nina my darling, lots of giant hugs. I will miss you very much.