Well, friends, the day is upon us - Amy, my dear friend, and business partner is departing these United States and setting upon her next big adventure in the Netherlands.
For a while now, I’ve been exploring my feelings about this. While Amy and I are close friends and talk most days of the week, we have rarely lived near each other in our 25-year relationship. We met when I hired her to join a nascent coffee and espresso company long ago in Atlanta, which neither of us called home for very long. Then, after I persuaded her to follow us to NYC, we parted company I for Vermont and her for Boston. So literally, out of our 25 years going through life together, we’ve only been “dinner distance” apart for approximately three.
“How is that possible?” I ask myself that pretty regularly, often while shaking my head in amazement. But I know the answer - it’s because of Amy.
It’s a well-established fact that Amy likes stuff. I personally have benefitted from the many times she’s cleaned out her closet. Shoes and bags and necklaces - these are a few of her favorite things. Zippered pouches in every size and color. Maybelline matte lipsticks? Same. Cookbooks galore! If one is good more is better - that’s Amy. Everything must be orange until everything must be dusty pink.
But there is one thing that Amy collects more of than anything else - people. She can’t help herself. If you ever worked with Amy, she still has your contact info. Ever volunteered with Amy - same thing. If she likes you, you’ll never fall out of contact. You can ALWAYS call her and she will ALWAYS take your call. Social media was invented for Amy, it’s actually surprising that she didn’t invent it! All the people all the time!
But that is just a description of what Amy’s network looks like. What it feels like is to know someone cares about you. When you don’t know who to call, you can call Amy, because she will make time for you and there is someone she knows who she can connect with you to get you going in the right direction. That means something because she has so much on her plate, so many people, places, and things - and she makes time for you. So, you must be important. Amy even answers the phone to tell you she can’t talk! When you are friends with Amy, you feel valued.
If you ask her for advice, she always has an opinion, even if she knows you won’t like it. She is honest and she is accessible. Some people will hang back to read the room, but Amy, she’s right in there, hugging people, picking up babies, commenting on your house, your appearance - she is a force of nature.
I know this is true because, as Amy prepares for her departure, one farewell party wasn’t enough. Two were required to say ‘so long’ to all of her adoring fans. There may have been more if the ‘rona hadn’t happened. Amy’s friend list is long. I don’t think Amy has acquaintances like the rest of us do.
But what of my personal feelings about Amy’s departure? Well, I’ve had good friends move away that I truly mourned because I thought I might never see them again. I suck at staying in touch. While I am grateful for social media, I suck at that too. But I have no doubt about Amy. I will see her again and again, somewhere.
She will never let me go. And for that, I am glad. Truly, deeply.
Bon Voyage, dear friend!