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Dear Hanie and Suri,

Last year, Nancy, Mindy, and I were walking over for a dessert on a Friday night. It must have been sometime in December, because I was telling them both about a contest at my job for which the prize was a trip for two to the Vanity Fair Oscar party the night of the Academy Awards. I work at Vanity Fair, which is why they could offer such a prize. We were all excited by the prospect of my winning and we were talking about what I would wear, who I would bring, etc.

All of a sudden, I realized that my best friend Yael’s wedding was probably on the same day of the Academy Awards, which meant that even if I won, I would have to give up the trip. Of course, Mindy, who is probably a bigger stargazer than I am (if that is possible) said that I should still go to the Academy Awards because Yael would understand, that this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Then Nancy went on to say that if Mindy won a trip to the Academy Awards and it was on the same day as her (Nancy’s) wedding, of course she would want Mindy to go, because she knew how important it would be to Mindy. I was struck by what an amazing friend Nancy was to Mindy. I, of course, would never understand my best friend missing my wedding for anything and Nancy was adamant that she would want Mindy to go because it would make her so happy. People say that you are lucky to have one good friend who truly understands you, and I was struck by what a great friend Nancy was to Mindy, because I knew she meant every word of what she was saying.

That was truly Nancy’s gift, being a great friend and anyone who knew her was lucky to benefit from her character.

Meryl Degen

P.S. -Just in case you were wondering, I did win the trip and did not go.

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