Memorial Service: Ben Hall

I met Caia in 1995, in the UK when we were both working in Northampton. The office we worked in was open-concept in the same way that an aircraft hanger filled with desks would be considered open-concept. Just imagine this huge space filled with IT workers. I always knew when Caia was in the office because at irregular intervals her loud laugh would ring out and fill the cavernous space. I'll remember that laugh and her infectious enthusiasm for life.

Caia enjoyed volleyball. She wasn't a stellar player but volleyball could make her very happy. What she liked best of all were long rallies in which everyone got to join in, on both sides. It was important to her to cheer enthusiastically for everyone, regardless of whose team they were on. This desire for fairness and inclusion informed her deep sense of morality. And she just didn't want anyone to feel left out.

It didn't surprise me one bit when I learned that at the beginning of this week Caia had spent time on the Internet ordering gifts for the nurses who had looked after her. I'll remember that grace and thoughtfulness. And she gave such good gifts.

We all know that Caia was fiercely intelligent. She got great joy out of solving problems, playing games, and recognizing patterns. I remember when she asked me to think about how many holes a t-shirt has. And the only clue she gave me was, "I mean, in the topological sense." She tried to help me understand bridge and cryptic crosswords. She thought it was so cool that Ron has a palindrome for a phone number. She introduced me to games for long car rides such as competitive spelling. She insisted on having to say "glug, glug, glug" when you lost, or rather when I lost which was more often the case.

I'm profoundly glad that Caia lived. I'm glad that I felt the warmth of her friendship and love. I will cherish the memory of her words, her actions, and her character.

Thank you and remember to cheer for all the players, no matter whose team they're on.