Hope you enjoyed your long weekend ! Okay – I SWEAR this is the longest post I’ll ever write. But it’s hard to talk about the people you love, right ? I know some of Liz’s readers are close friends and family that know how wonderful she is. And even those of you who have only met her briefly because she made your wedding invitations, or at the stationary show, or even if you’ve only ever read her blog, you get the sense that she’s great, right ? But people, I have some big shoes to fill writing for her this month. I have tossed and turned over what is right or will ever live up. I don’t think I know yet, but I do know I can’t write without telling you all how important she is to me. I also hope she doesn’t mind that this is soooo long, or sorta personal, but I get chatty (she knows this).
As Liz said, She and I have known each other for a long time. Before we ever met she was a cool “upper-schooler” to me. I even remember meeting her for the first time when she and my sister were going out to lunch one day (I must have been 14 or 15). Somehow our friendship grew from there—even through High School when two years is a humongous age difference. I still have mix tapes she made me covered in sparkly stickers, and brightly labeled letters she sent to me at summer camp (L&H precursor). Our relationship grew into more of a friendship and less big/little sister when I joined her and my sister at Bates College, and then even more so when I came to New York. As she said, I unknowingly followed along, a few years behind, in her footsteps --we both even studied in Firenze, albeit different years (But let’s be honest, she followed me downtown—I lived there first :) ).
In New York we spent more and more time together, and as we both started our companies (I remember sitting in Chat&Chew on 6th Ave when she first told me about her passion for cards/paper/stationary) we started holding weekly “creative meetings” at Grey Dog Café, halfway between our apartments (which were only about 3 blocks apart anyway). We took them seriously, and would spread out her new note cards and envelopes, and Id flip through drawings I was working on. There was never judgment or fear of. She became one of my most important sounding boards in work and in life. Week after week, we’d trudge in, in big snow boots and wool coats in the winter, stomping snow off our shoes, pulling off wool hats. Or we’d rush in for AC relief, sweating in sunglasses and cotton dresses in the summer—fanning ourselves with their laminated menus. I can see a movie clip in my mind of us entering through that door season after season, different haircuts, different clothing trends, same line at the counter, same order. It was there she told me she was engaged, and there she told me she was buying a house. So many grown up decisions, so many important life choices. All the while, no matter what was going on with her, she remained my cheerleader and my support. No event in my life has ever been to small for her undivided attention. For years when we’d buy each other gifts or write thank yous, our notes went on and on about how important we were to each other, how much we were really more like sisters. That faded when I think we both silently accepted we’d repeated ourselves enough. There was no new way to say it. She was like a sister, and short + sweet became more important because the rest was understood.
There are very few people we can actually count as family who are not. But for the past 12 or more years Liz has never ever once treated me like my life, was less than the most important thing in the world. Every birthday and Christmas a beautiful gift, every week a check-in (the last few years more like every day), every sadness a hug or encouragement. And of course the endless unexpected :: she took over as my marathon coach when she knew I was panicked over an injury, she listens quietly when I’m sad, and never forgets a follow up note or email of support. She, like family, has made me feel like my talents (or lack thereof) are worthy of the highest accolades in the world. She has done many many things that have been exactly what I needed at that exact moment--like she has a viewfinder into my head and my heart, and quietly takes action. There has never once been a mention or feeling of owing, or counting, or deserving. It is a selflessness that really rarely exists anywhere, and when it does is 99% granted to family. No fooling, I could cry thinking about it. Miss Liz is more than a friend to me on many levels. She is someone I will never be able to repay for all she has done. I hope anyone reading this (congrats if you made it this far !) has a friend they can tuck in this category. It is irreplaceable.
And I still haven’t don’t her justice – honest.
And then you add to this that we both have great taste—so friendship and art intertwine and here I am, thanks for having me, Liz :).