“You are the most hospitable person I know!”
How did she react?
“Aww, I don’t think so… But I really do want people to be comfortable when they are in my home. And Rosa, I do appreciate you saying that! A lot.”
How did I feel?
We all have a special place. Now I am not talking the super hip city you went to after you graduated. Neither your imagined beach for relaxation (which I think is a phenom spot nonetheless!). It's not your first lover's bed, not your favorite vacation destination or your college year abroad town. It is that small, cozy place that's been there all along. The home by choice you might not even be aware of. For me, this one is the Hafner's house. It is a family home to five people, one of them Regina.
She is my best high school buddy’s mom. I have been knowing her for 10 years. A lot has changed since I first came to the Hafner's house- Exploring kissing, graduations, major crisises and minor attitude shifts. First drags from a joint, moving out and moving back in. You know the score: Life happened. Or at least, puberty. But there is one thing that stayed the same all the time. Wherever I was, whatever I was up to- when I visited Fabi’s parent’s house Regina and her family gave me the warmest welcome. She is one of those people who pour all their love into the hug they give you. My answer to her “How are you?”, goes right to her heart. I can tell because that heart of hers shines from her eyes while she listens. “The fridge is all yours.” is her standard phrase. Second on the list comes “Please take seconds!”. Regina’s friendliness fills the home she and her husband have built. Together with him she has raised three wonderful kids. I admire how she assists each of them on their completely different paths, spending tons of thought on how to parent and why. As does she with guests: Both the thoughtfulness and, if needed, the parenting. Or mentoring. Or assisting- whatever you call it, Regina is a pro in that field. When I was going through a rough time a few years back she did not judge for a second. Instead she listened, tried to understand, and gave me one of her love hugs. That woman is a mom by choice to me. Even though I don't see her often I always feel like I am coming home when I hear her say "Heeey, Rosa!" cheerfully the minute I enter her house. I can't think of any other place as full of warmth, calm and inspiration- and laughter: Regina's family has the coolest humor on the planet and dinner with them means an hour of laughing muscle training- or smart conversations, since on top of it all, the five of them are super bright and curious! Thank you, Regina, for contributing such a wonderful family and being the person you are. And thanks, everyone of the Hafner family, for welcoming me the way you have been throughout the past ten years! I can't wait to be over again soon.