Life is short and we should never forget it. But I did for a minute.
I worked with Kristina at my last job. I really really liked her. She was the woman some of you have heard me talk about – we went to Weight Watchers together. I called her Mills most of the time.
She was tall and loud and funny and smart and quick and kind. You could count on her. She had a big smile and a huge laugh and a wild streak. She was intelligent and competent. She also had a young son. I would laugh at her when she would tell me stories about how she would have to suck it up and talk to him seriously about kid/growing up stuff. “Wow Mills you were really mature. And you kept a straight face? I‘m so proud.” Laughter. Kristina loved her family and her Nicole. She vacationed with her sister in California and she loved those times. She had some really big high heels in her cube and last year when she was in California, several of us (women and men alike) put them on and modeled. We took pictures and messaged them to her. We all laughed. Kristina had been through some tough times but her life was getting right. Better. Good. She was in love. She was one of those people whose life was happy anyway. Her happiness came from within.
She was good to me when I started my job. I already knew a lot of people there having been in the printing industry in Connecticut forever, so it wasn’t a hard job-beginning. But almost right away, I would hear the voice yelling from her cube behind me – BUNNNNNNN. And I would holler right back – MILLLLLLLLLLS. And we would laugh. We were sympatico.
Sometimes I called her my bad child. We had a lot in common. I told her she was me – minus 23 years of maturity. We talked to each other about important stuff, life stuff, girl stuff. I trusted her. After I was laid off, I missed her. I missed a lot of my work friends, and I thought of Kristina often. She kept popping into my head last week. And I had heard she was unwell, had taken a leave from work, and I kept thinking I should call her.
Well Kristina passed away last week. She was 33 years old. I didn’t call her to see how she was doing. I had no idea I wouldn’t have time. When I worked with Kristina every day, she was one of my favorites. I thought the world of her. I just wish I had called. Said how are you doing? If I had know she was in rehab, I would have driven over for a visit. I had the time to do it. But I just didn’t know.
So. You know what I’m going to say next. Pick up the phone and call someone you miss. They probably miss you too. Only takes a minute. You never know what is going to happen tomorrow.
I’ll miss you Mills. The world will be just a teeny weeny little less bright without you. A bit quieter. A touch less fun. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being a part of my life.