IT’S BEEN SO DIFFICULT for me to put into words my ten
years of friendship with Nancy. I’ll try my best to describe
our friendship and hopefully I can convey how tremendous this
loss has been.
I am sure many have said that she
was honest and straightforward. She definitely told it like it
was. But to me, when I think
of Nancy, I think of someone who took on the role of my protector.
The best part of living in my apartment
building was that my two best friends lived right upstairs. I
would spend countless
hours in their apartment discussing the typical and not-so typical
experiences that one discusses with their closest friends. If
I were relaying a story to Nancy about how I felt someone had
wronged me, she’d invariably take my side. All she needed
to hear was that someone hurt me and that was enough. I believe
there was no in-between with her. Either you were her friend
or you weren’t. She gave a lot and expected a lot. You
had to prove to her that you were worthy of being her friend
and I was lucky enough to be one of the chosen.
Physically, she was my savior, too.
I’ve been on numerous
mountain hikes with Nancy, whether in Las Vegas or New Jersey.
She knew I had a tremendous fear of heights. As I’d climb
up that mountain crying, shaking, and screaming, “I’m
going to fall,” she’d be right behind me saying, “No,
you’re not. I’ve got you.” She would literally
put her hands on my back and with all her might push me up that
Over the past three months I’ve
been thinking how those hikes stimulated our friendship. Whenever
I was feeling “down” Nancy
would be there to push me back up. She wouldn’t stand for
my feeling sorry for myself and scoffed at my occasional lack
of confidence. And it wasn’t her way to give disingenuous
compliments or encouragement. Her constant reassurance that everything
in our lives will work out and be okay was always emanated with
the utmost of sincerity.
She was tremendously supportive. I’ve
had my career ups and downs over the years and I began a new
career in January
2001. Nancy immediately noticed the change in me. “It’s
so nice not to hear you complain about work and to see you happy
in a job,” she said.
Nancy, Nicole, and I would make a
custom out of celebrating our birthdays together with our friends.
I remember I was depressed
about turning thirty and Nicole was going to be out of town.
Nancy wouldn’t let my birthday go by without doing something.
She hosted a dessert in her apartment on a Friday night and invited
all my friends. I don’t think I ever told her how much
that meant to me.
It was Nancy who signed me up at the
gym. “Let me make
you my project,” she’d say. “I’ll whip
you into shape.” I was apprehensive to go to the gym myself,
with all those fit people. She took me every time until I felt
comfortable going alone. In fact, the first time I took an aerobics
class without her, in the middle of the class, I looked towards
the glass door and saw Nancy peering into the room waving at
me, beaming with pride.