In 1998 I applied and interviewed for a Director of Communications position with a privately-owned company that managed and owned 21 nursing homes. I was 24 years old, very green, and knew little of the corporate world.
When I met the Recruiter, Sheri, I was in awe. She had a smile that beamed warmth, welcome, fun and confidence. I remember that whatever she was wearing was fabulous--no doubt a perfectly pressed and crisp white button-down shirt, a shot of some unusual color in a dress jacket or sweater--perhaps celery or blood orange, she was sporting killer heels and some oversized, chunky jewelry. She was just so put together.
I hesitate to try and remember what I was wearing--but having just come from the theatre world, I am sure it was black. My hope that day was that I would be able to carry myself thru the interview with more than just my young work history--that my attitude and willingness to work hard might land me a shot at getting the job.
I did get that job--and I held the position very proudly for four years, before I made a decision to leave based on a need to grow further into what my passion was quickly becoming--advancing elder care reform.
All these years later, I am still close with Sheri. From the day of that interview and thereafter Sheri and I were connected at the hip. She guided me through the landmines of corporate expectations, relationships and gossip; she taught me how to walk tall, hold firm my ground, and dive passionately into an idea that might be looked upon by others as completely unachievable; she listened to me talk about a failed marriage and new love; she was there for me when I made the decision to move on to a new job; and ever after she has been there to watch my children grow.
We saw each other infrequently when I moved to Vegas for five years--here and there we would meet--at a coffee shop to see my first-born son; in passing at an industry conference; a meet-up for drinks with some of the old gang. I always relished being in her presence--and I love that in those quick meetings we could return so quickly to where we were twelve years ago--sitting in her cubicle, her in her chair and me on her desk, my legs swinging, her hands moving furiously as she expressed an idea. A fellow bloggy friend has recently used the term peas to my carrots. That is who Sheri is to me.
Since we moved back to New England, Sheri has come to my place to visit, and yesterday Chris, the kids and I headed to her place for a little gathering to celebrate the New Year. Her mother, her sister and her brother-in-law and nephew were there to greet us at the door. For several hours we caught up about old times, made new friends, and most of all just watched the kids play. It was a fantastic time, filled with laughter, Pomegranate Martinis and little savory and sweet bites of this and that.
Good times. Good friends. No, scratch that. GREAT TIMES. GREAT FRIENDS.
Happy New Year Sheri, Rosemary, Debbie, Chuck and Gregory!