Fariba Amani was the glue that held her family together.
When it was Thanksgiving, she would host and cook the family dinner.
But the bond was ripped apart on Feb. 29, 2012.
It was the day Fariba was reported missing by her boyfriend during a cruise in the Bahamas.
The Port Moody esthetician seemingly vanished from the MS Bahamas Celebration the night before it was set to dock back in Miami.
One year later, her disappearance remains a mystery.
"It's been difficult without her," Fariba's sister Saloumeh Amani told The NOW.
Since that fateful trip, the 47-year-old's family has been given few answers from the authorities investigating the incident.
They're hoping the upcoming one-year anniversary, which oddly falls on a leap day, will bring attention to the case and lead to new information.
"It's frustrating because we don't know the details of the investigation," Saloumeh said.
Here's what her family does know, based on what Fariba's boyfriend Ramiz Golshani told investigators after her disappearance.
He said he last saw Fariba at the gift shop on the ship the night of Feb. 28. The next morning, she hadn't returned, so he started looking for her.
Golshani reported her missing when the ship docked.
The U.S. Coast Guard searched the waters for three days, but Fariba never turned up. The FBI took over the investigation, while the family filed a missing person report with the Port Moody Police Department.
From the start, Saloumeh questioned the handling of the investigation, characterizing it as a "mess."
Specifically, she noted passengers were able to disembark, while new passengers were cleared to board and the ship sailed off.
"That, to us, was a huge mess up," Saloumeh said.
"They should have kept the boat there. They should have questioned people. They should have inspected the scene before letting it go off again."
The family even questions whether Fariba made it onto the boat in the first place.
Though they were told Fariba swiped her boarding card, Saloumeh said she's heard stories of passengers being able to swipe other people's cards and their own while the other person was somewhere else.
Adding to the confusion, the investigation landed in the lap of several jurisdictions, including the FBI, U.S. Coast Guard, Port Moody police and Bahamian police.
Though Saloumeh, who lives in Maple Ridge, suggested the relationship between Fariba and her boyfriend was rocky at the time, she said the family isn't assuming he's involved in the disappearance.
However, she said the family hasn't heard from Golshani since Fariba went missing, though it's believed he still lives in Coquitlam.
The two apparently met at a salsa class at the Evergreen Cultural Centre and had only been dating for eight months.
"We don't really know a whole lot about him," Saloumeh said, noting her sister never introduced him to the family.
The Province newspaper reportedly called Golshani's mobile phone as part of a story last week but was told by a man claiming to be Golshani's brother-in-law that he was away on a trip and unreachable.
Saloumeh is convinced her sister met with foul play, pointing to her final texts, and to notes found around her apartment that indicate she had planned to return.
This was the last text sent by Fariba to Saloumeh before she headed off on the cruise: "I love you sister joon," she wrote, using a Farsi term of endearment. "I'll see you when I get back."
Saloumeh also said her older sister rarely drank and wasn't the type to just take off with strangers.
"She [Fariba] had a really good outlook on life," she said, adding her sister saw the cruise as an opportunity to try something new.
Twelve months later, the Vancouver Police Department is now leading the investigation, but the force is also saying little.
"Our investigators are working in conjunction with the FBI, but as this is still an active and ongoing investigation there is no further information that I can share," VPD Const. Brian Montague said in an e-mail statement to The NOW.
The year following Fariba's disappearance has been hard for the Amani family.
Saloumeh gets emotional when she considers whether her sister is still alive.
"My heart really wants to believe so," she said.
"But my logic tells me she wouldn't have just walked away from us."
Despite the sorrow, Saloumeh still holds out hope the questions to her sister's disappearance will eventually be answered.
"We know it's going to take a long time to get some answers, but I think we will at some point."
According to a Toronto Star report, nearly 200 people disappeared from cruise ships during a 10-year period ending June 2012.