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Dear Mr. & Mrs. Morgenstern,

It is so difficult for me to believe and understand what has happened. Nancy was this amazing person who came into our lives about six years ago. I don’t quite recall how we all became such great friends; it was such an easy friendship. We lived in different states and had different life styles. It was so easy to keep in touch; even though we would go maybe a month without talking. It was no problem getting caught up and talking about when she was coming out again.

Here in Snowmass, we are a bunch of people from all over the world. Our careers are providing happy family holidays and vacations, therefore spending most of our holidays away from our own families. We have “orphan” Thanksgiving dinners, we have -pumpkin-cutting parties, and we go Christmas tree-cutting in the nighttime woods with our snow boots, headlamps, and hot chocolate. We do anything else to entertain ourselves during the festive seasons. The people you meet that come and go become sort of your second family. Nancy quickly became a part of this family.

She would show up with her rolling suitcase and skis, her big brown eyes that would disappear when she smiled. Nancy was the dinner guest that would arrive and always bring her own food, never short a chocolate babka for her friends. We’d laugh because it kind of defeated the purpose of “dinner guest.” It was actually the company and conversation we really wanted most of all.

We shared with Nancy the life we all live in our little ski town and she taught us about her life and her religion; they both went hand in hand. Something we all knew nothing about, as Nancy enlightened us to this.

We had different lives when it came to our traditions and beliefs but none of this seemed to matter, we were all just friends with the same interests and dreams. Having these differences just kept it educational and interesting.

She would celebrate our Christmas tree-cutting tradition, al-though for her it was just being outdoors walking through the woods in the snow with friends. And we would all agree to walk on that Friday night instead of taking the shuttle, celebrating her Sabbath—although for us this was just a great reason to walk and take in the night air.

Nancy loved the mountains and often talked about packing up and moving to Snowmass, but we all knew her life was in the city and she loved being close to her family. Her new passion was cycling, and I know the friends here had a bit of an influence on this newfound love. Nancy began packing her bike out to Colorado instead of her skis.

We said goodbye to Nancy on her last visit as we crossed paths one night. Nancy knew she was always welcome whether we could be there or not. She arrived with Graham and Martin, her new cycling friends, and the next day we left her the house key and went on our way out the door to Europe. She was all dressed in her cycling gear, gave me a great big hug, and wished us safe travels.

Nancy shared our wedding day, birthday dinners, ski days, and mountain parties. We would talk about future trips, like Moab or even Israel, I was sure we would’ve all fulfilled in time. Nancy was simply a pleasure and no fuss. She had become part of our lives and she will never be forgotten. She brought us all a gift of love and friendship that will never go away. The speed with which she was quickly taken away from us reminds us all to always hug your friends and family and wish them safe travels whether they are going—to Europe or to work.

I know in my own beliefs that Nancy and I will meet up again, another life, another ski hill.

Thanks to her for being our friend, you are forever in our memories . . . Beautiful.

Michelle Otero


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Acknowledgments Introduction Testimonies Photo Gallery 1 Reflections from Nancy's Mother