"Change, when it comes, cracks everything open."
Dorothy Allen

Friday, February 28, 2014

Missing You

This week, I say good bye to another friend.  We were just starting to connect, after years of being work acquaintances.  Just as I start counting her as a friend, she gets a super opportunity and BOOM.  Another friend moves out of my life.

Don't get me wrong.  I am crazy happy for her.  And maybe a teeny tiny bit jealous.   She is getting a new opportunity, a fresh start.  A new home, a new city, a new job.  Sweet ride.  And she deserves it.  She's a hard worker, and smart.  Sarcastic, and funny, in a biting, endearing way. 

She and I met about 4 years ago.  We were both involved with the charity committee, and had similar interests in the types of charities- autism, animals, stuff like that.  I helped her out with some donations that she needed for a personal friend, when I was cleaning out some  of Sawyer's nursery stuff.  She got me tickets to a couple shows that I wanted to see.  We would chat about our mutual love of Deadliest Catch and we both mourned when Captain Phil passed away. 

So, we were friendly, but not really friends.  We chatted, but didn't really talk.  You know what that's like.  You probably have 5 or 10 or more people in your life like that right now.  We all do.  And they are great. 

But sometimes, there is something about a person that makes you want more.  It makes you try a little harder and go a little further and move you from the acquaintance to the friend idea.

With me, it happened at a wedding.  It was a mutual friend getting married, there were lots of us there.  After dinner, we all moved around and sat at each other's tables.  She came over  we started chatting.  Of course we had had a couple of drinks, which just lubricated he conversation.  We started shooting the shit, and soon, the conversation turned to heavier topics- family, kids, health, happiness.

She  told me that she read my blog.  She started talking to me about my writing.  What it meant to her, what she liked.  What she wanted to read.  Over and over through the years, every once in a while, we have this conversation.  She once told me that if she ever wins the lottery, one of the first things she wants to do is buy me a little farm, and set me up to write.  She has flat out told me that she thinks that my writing should be shared with the world.  She has done more to encourage me that she will ever know. 

This year, we have started working together.  We joined the same dart league.  We started hanging out together outside of work.  And the talking was really talking.  I decided that we were friends.  And just like that- we were. 

So, now she's leaving.  Another friend, moving on.  Sigh.  Is it me?  Do I smell?  Or do I just inspire others to greatness?  I prefer to think the latter, although the truth is that this has absolutely nothing to do with me.  

Today was her last day of work with us.  And today, magically, I got something in the mail.  She made me a gift.  She gave me one last message, one designed to keep me writing.

It's a glass mug. 
One side says "Write like a motherfucker" in the shape of a heart.
The other side says "Cracks in the Armour" and it has my tag line :
"Change, when it comes, cracks everything open".
I cried when I opened it.  As soon as I saw it, one side then the other, I cried.  The thought, the effort, the care that went into this- it overwhelmed me.  It broke my heart.  I am crying now as I type this.  The mug, of course, is right beside me, full of Earl Grey. 

I chatted with her through the day.  We played out first ever game of "Battle of the Jams".  It started with me posting a screenshot of my iPhone playing Sweet Child of Mine to Instagram.  She matched it with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, "Fishing in he Dark" (a personal favourite of mine). 

I texted her, and raised her "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald".  She landed a vicious blow with "The Gambler".  I countered with "Total Eclipse of the Heart".  On and on the battle went, each song flying back and forth with screen shots from our personal playlists.  Finally, after I had thrown out "Devil Went Down to Georgia", "Bat out of Hell" and "New Girl Now" all in one round, I did concede defeat to her outstanding "Magic Carpet Ride" and "Low Rider".  I can't beat the 'Wolf.  :)

She even gloated with a victory shot on Instagram. 

I highly recommend this.  It's a great way to fill in those lonely spots in an afternoon. 

It was a great way to say goodbye.

So, I wanted to write this little note, to say thank you. 

- Thank you for being one of the most hilarious and sarcastic people I know. 
- Thank you for hanging out with me and making fun of pretty much everything in oh so many meetings.
- Thanks for the drinks.  All of them.  And there was quite a few.
- Thanks for the laughs.  Even when I wanted to cry, we always seemed to laugh.
- Thank you for the texts.  When Sebastian was sick, when I was sad, when things were good, and when things were bad.  You sent me messages and I knew that someone was thinking about me.
- Thank you for buying about 40 scarves off me.  :)
- Thank you for being you.  For being so wickedly smart, open and welcoming.
- But mostly, thank you for believing in me.  And for telling me.  Again and again and again.  When I didn't believe myself, when I would quit, you always told me to go back.

I wrote to you sometimes.  I knew you would read.  So sometimes, when I wrote, it was for you. 

Good luck Nicole. 

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "Nicole, come back and see us, whenever you can".


  1. Funny how we become from friendly to friends . Love this post. Your friend sounds pretty awesome. What a fantastic gift.

  2. So well written you have really captured who Nicole is :) she will be missed by many

  3. This is really beautiful, Anita. :)