We are family.

Assalamu alaikum.

Among my Muslim friends, it means “Peace be upon you.”

I heard those words yesterday in Denver, delivered by a young San Diegan, born and raised Catholic in Nigeria, as he welcomed his brother’s new bride and family— originally from Pakistan—into his own, using their language with spirit and sincerity. (Thank you Mrs. Young, for teaching me the proper use of commas. 😉 )

As the blessing ended, a cheer rose,  for this room was filled with people who see diversity, communication and global awareness as powerful catalysts for progress.  And this room was filled with people who wish every happiness for Nazish and Kenny.

Nazish and her family became part of mine in 2002, when her sister Sameen and Kate became dorm mates at the University of Colorado. In the nine years since, we’ve shared a great deal.  Two college graduations. Moving the girls from Boulder. Sameen’s marriage to Jeremy. Kate’s marriage to Dmitri. The loss of fathers and grandfathers. Their younger sister Meher’s going from little girl to stellar 16. And last spring, Lily’s arrival. We also have shared her grandmother’s amazing cuisine and my not-so-shabby lemon bars.

A fun synchronicity: before I met Nazish, and before she met Kenny, he lived next door to Kate and me in Aurora.

Small world.

Wonderful world.


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