Amelia Tobias nee Laba

Sitti standing alone outdoors print dress
Amelia Tobias

I have a lot of good memories of my Sitti. I picture her baking flat Lebanese “mountain bread,” cooking for my extended family and laughing and smiling when we visited. I remember the bed I slept in when I stayed over. I remember her caring for me as a child when I had a bad sunburn.

One of the strongest memories I can still see is my Sitti sitting quietly at the kitchen table praying. A Maronite Christian by birth she became a devout Catholic in Canada. I can still see her large black-beaded rosary. She prayed it every day, often more than once.She is the only person I remember who prayed for the sake of praying, for the joy of it. Others prayed in church or said a grace before a meal but my Sitti loved to pray. She prayed for me and occasionally she would invite me to come and pray a “decade” of the rosary (one segment) with her.

My Sitti died when I was 12, long before any real faith had been birthed in me. But I have come to feel a direct spiritual connection between her prayers and my life as a Baptist minister and care giver. Everything I have been part of has been touched by her piety. I like that. Unknown to the world, unassuming, alone in her kitchen, she did her part.

– RT

Originally published as part of blog post found at