I am blessed by many amazing women in my life: a sister, sister-in-laws, a mother, a mother-in-law, grandmothers, aunts, cousins, and many friends. I'm thinking particularly of my four best girlfriends today.
I couldn't have dreamed up better friends. They are all caring, tell you like it is, compassionate, loyal, thoughtful, got your back kind of friends.
The best kind of friends.
Two of those friends, Jen and Tara, have been my best friends since third grade. We share each other's pasts and are intertwined in the fabric of who each of us has become. We know everything there is to know about each other, and can tell each other anything. I can't imagine my life then or now without them in it and am inexplicably grateful that our friendship remains tight, through all the years and over all the miles.
My other two closest friends, Molly and Nichole, have become a part of my life and my heart in recent years, through work and marriages and kids. We share each other's here and now, the good, the bad and the ugly of it all. They know the best and worst of me, the lightest and darkest parts of my soul (oftentimes to their dismay). And they've trusted me with theirs. To have found friends like that as an adult, and to know all of these women like I do...well, it's a very precious thing to me.
Nichole, Molly and I work together, which I think has tightened our bond. We spend as much (or more) time at work as we do with our families. And we're there together, working and laughing and crying and sharing our everydays with each other. That has been a special gift.
But this was Nichole's last week at work. And we are very sad about losing our everydays with her.
Nichole said that work isn't the glue that holds us together. Our friendship is real and strong regardless of where we are, like all true friendships should be. We will all remain close until our dying days, I know. But I also know that Molly and I are going to miss the hell out of her. And that Casto will never be the same without Nichole Sony at its helm.
Nichole has been at Casto for 15 years (or more, I can't remember, lol). She is a good employee, loyal and hard working. But so much more importantly, she is a good friend to so many. She built and cultivated relationships during her years there. I believe that's kind of what life's all about - the relationships we make and nurture, the people we love and those who love us, giving our time and attention and heart to the people we care about, and being grateful and open to accepting those things from them.
Nichole could teach a lesson in that.
There were lots of tears and hugs and stories and memories at Casto this week as we all said goodbye to our friend. She will be missed by everyone. That's a fact.
By none more than Molly and me. We're going to be a little lost without her for awhile, I think. But we're also excited for this new chapter in her life. She's fulfilling a dream she's had for many years - spending the summer with her family. So we're trying not to dwell on the sadness of losing our everydays with her and, instead, focusing on the happiness and pride we feel that she's, very deservedly, living out her dream.
We love you, Nichole Sony. Your girls will remember this summer for the rest of their lives and they will be better because you're there with them. You made the right decision for you and your family and, even though you completely disregarded Molly and my feelings (hahaha), we'll forgive you this time.
We'll be seeing you soon, friend.