Thursday, May 22, 2008

Flashback Friday - Nancy


I met Nancy when I first started my job here about 5 years ago. She worked in another department, but in the same hall. She seemed really sweet, but I confess, when I first met her, she didn't strike me as someone with whom I'd have much in common. I couldn't have been more wrong.

Not only do we think alike politically and philosophically, she is also a musical theatre lover. And not only that, but she'd once been a single mother of two young girls. And not only that, but she now has a granddaughter named Riley that's the same age as my Riley!

We were the first ones in every morning, and the more we talked, the more we learned of these similarities. She was the first person I felt comfortable airing all my fears to, and she was always there with a comforting shoulder and words that truly helped. She shared with me some of her own struggles and her memories of that time in her life. I know that she knows exactly how I feel, and she has been a beacon of light and hope for me that things will get better when I've been at my darkest.

She's been one of my biggest cheerleaders in everything that I've tried to do these past 5 years; from going back to school to moving to KIPP and even to starting this blog. She's a faithful reader, and always has positive words of encouragement for me.

When I first moved out here, we were living with my parents while I got on my feet. Moving into our first apartment, I was basically starting over from scratch. I needed everything.

Nancy gave me her set of dishes, and told me the story behind them. They had been given to her when she'd been in a similar situation. She hoped that they would help me take these next important steps in renewing our lives. They did. And they still do.

There are times, at home, when I feel overwhelmed with the pressure of raising 2 kids. There are times when I don't think I can find the patience to be the kind of mom I want to be. Sometimes, I happen to be in the kitchen at that time. And I happen to take out a bowl that came from her set. And I hear her words, and I feel the support. And at some point in time, I will pass them forward to someone who needs to know that they'll get through their tough time, too.

She's also been my most loyal theatre date. She even accompanied me to Vegas once to see Avenue Q. Next Friday, we're going to see A Chorus Line. (I'm not one of those people that's secure enough to go completely by myself. I was 15 years ago, but not anymore.) She always understands, and she gives up some of her very precious free time to spend with me, for which I will remain eternally grateful.

She also cracks me up. As sweet, loving and compassionate a human as she is, she's got a wicked sense of humor!

She understands my love affair with the blogosphere, and Kori, she asks about you a lot.

A couple of years ago, she got a new, better job that put her on another floor. I refused to let her go. I got myself on her lunch calendar on a recurring bi-weekly basis, and would kidnap her from the commissary because the woman knows everyone and everyone loves Nancy and wants to talk to her. When I had her for that precious hour, I did not want to share. So we found a private spot (which came to be known as "the private place" which still makes me giggle) where we could talk uninterrupted. 'Cuz I'm selfish like that.

At the end of last year, she got a new, better job again...working in my department!! Now she's not only my friend, but my colleague. I love having her here to get me through the day.


Anonymous said...

A friend, a mentor and a guide - good combo.

Kori said...

I almost feel like I know her, too, and am so glad for your sake that you have someone like that in your real life; it helps so much!

LunaNik said...

Friendships like that are THE BEST aren't they??

So glad you have someone like her to lean on, April.

Enjoy your weekend!

MarĂ­a said...

I wanna meet her. She sounds fab.

Anonymous said...

Nothing beats a goo solid friendship like that. Nancy sounds amazing.

Love the idea of a secluded spot so you can have lunch together uninterrupted.

Florinda said...

A great story about a great friendship - thanks for sharing it!

Tara R. said...

Congrats on finding such a great friend. She sounds like lots of fun.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you have a friend like that! And you are going to be working closely together again.

I'm also a bit jealous. :) Can Nancy come visit me someday?