Monday, November 13, 2006

The Lovely Chera...




Thursday night I had to say goodbye to one of the most important people in my life - my friend Chera. She has accepted a position in Baltimore and left this weekend on her cross country move. It's a great opportunity for her, not only professionally, but to get a fresh start which she feels she needs right now.

Letting her go was torture. I threw her a little going away party Thursday night that was an absolute blast (after which, my house looked like the frat house in Animal House)! We definitely sent her off right. We take pictures just about everywhere we go, even if it's just a concert; two of which I posted above. Isn't she beautiful? I put copies of all of our pictures into a photo album for her and gave it to her at the party. I couldn't even get through it without toally losing it. By the end of the night both of us were a mess.

We met when we worked in the same department at the company I still work for. She was so sweet, kind of quiet, and had the slightest trace of the most charming southern accent. We discovered that in spite of our age difference (I'm 11 years older than she), we have so much in common. It's definitely not obvious, though. On the outside, our lives are very different. But on the inside, our friendship is a perfect match. We're each other's family - both non-judgemental and lovingly accepting of the other, even when we don't agree with the other's decisions. During our friendship, we've both had some really hard times, and we're always there for each other. When I cry she cries, and that's the truest sign of deep friendship. She used to come over with a bottle of wine and we'd lock ourselves in my bedroom, sit on the bed and talk for hours. Or just sit on my kitchen counter, knowing we could totally be ourselves. We both LOVE to have fun and everything we do together is a blast - if it doesn't start out that way, we turn it into one. There is never a dull moment when we're together, and 99% of my crazy stories have Chera right at the center. In the second picture, we were at a Chippendale's show which Chera got a free tickets to. Neither one of us would pay for tickets for that, but when she heard on the radio that you could e-mail in why you thought you should get free tickets, I think she did it just for the challenge! She wrote in and said her friend Stephanie was a single mom working two jobs, never got out to have fun and really needed a night out. Needless to say, we got the tickets and those T-Shirts were part of our "Spank You" gifts that we also won.

Chera and I will never lose each other, but the void in my life on a day to day basis will be huge without her here. I love her so much.

Oh, the Places You'll Go!

"Congratulations!
Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You're on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go.

You'll look up and down streets. Look 'em over with care.
About some you will say, "I don't choose to go there."
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
you're too smart to go down any not-so-good street...

...OH!
THE PLACES YOU'LL GO!

You'll be on your way up!
You'll be seeing great sights!
You'll join the high fliers
who soar to high heights.

You won't lag behind, because you'll have the speed.
You'll pass the whole gang and you'll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you'll be the best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest...


...And when you're alone, there's a very good chance
you'll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won't want to go on.

But on you will go
though the weather be foul
On you will go
though your enemies prowl
On you will go
though the Hakken-Kraks howl
Onward up many
a frightening creek,
though your arms may get sore
and your sneakers may leak.

On and on you will hike
and I know you'll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.

You'll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You'll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life's
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)

KID, YOU'LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!

So...
be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea,
you're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So...get on your way!"

---Dr. Seuss

8 comments:

work in progress said...

My best friend and I have matching copies of that book, given to us by her older sister when we graduated from high school.

I can't think of a more appropriate send off to a caring, giving friend who is moving forward and taking risks.

Nice post.

kate said...

that sucks. it must be so bittersweet. i can't even imagine having my best friend move across the country.

John said...

I'm sure she already knows it, but Chera's a lucky girl for having been so blessed as to have crossed paths with you, Steph. A frienship like that never comes to the end of the path.

What a sweet tribute.

Barry said...

It sux to have friends have to move on and away. But I guess that is what life is all about

twobuyfour said...

I was the friend who moved across country, leaving people behind. Sometimes I wish I had stayed, but I know it was the right thing to do. Those friendships still exist, even though we don't see each other very much any more.

I think of friendships as characters in a book. Sometimes they're gone when the chapter ends. Sometimes they keep showing up chapter after chapter through the whole book. Sometimes they're only in the first and last chapters. Because you never know when you'll see them again you appreciate them while you have them, and wish them all the luck in the world when a chapter ends.

And yes, you are both beautiful. If you ever go to Baltimore to visit her let us know and we'll meet you there.

Ryane said...

It is always very hard to be the one left behind...I am sure that w/a friendship as close as yours, you will find that this new bend in the road will just be another fun adventure in an already great relationship. And, what a great excuse to come visit the east coast--Baltimore is a lot of fun! You should tell your friend to eat at DeMimo's for Italian, The Black Olive (in Fells Point) for Greek, and be sure to venture out to Annapolis for seafood.

shoppergirl said...

I know you'll miss her, but at least you have a new vacation spot! Hope there's not too much time in between your visits.

Happy Thanksgiving too! :)

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