A day of loss

There were a lot of things I thought I might be writing about this week as I am stuck in Spokane to teach, but there is NO way I thought it would be this.  Tonight I am turning over the virtual glass

wine glass

Yes, I lost a friend today..My boss found out in October she had a faulty valve in her heart. (She is a few years younger than I, and in good shape!  I took a boxing class with this lady and she could throw a punch!) The surgery, though it involved the heart, was supposed to be routine.

Well, add to it complications after surgery and she had been in a medically induced coma for a month.  This week though, she had come out of it and things were looking up! Last night, we lost her…

She was more than my boss, she was a good friend.  She never admitted it, but I know she was candy corn pixie who would stash my favorite candy in out-of-the-way places all year-long.  She made a point to always make sure I had what I needed, and I was one of the few she would actually drop F-bomb around.  I was there when she was stressed, she was there when I needed to bitch. She spoiled me rotten, and I never took advantage of her. I have had very few bosses better, and not many friends.

Editors note:  Funny thing, 6 years ago she laid me off from the Mighty P.  I was NOT a fan of her’s. but since she hired me back I couldn’t ask for a better friend.

I will give the mighty P points.  I am 300 miles away teaching a class.  I was told in no uncertain terms I could shut down and head for the hotel for the rest of the day. Hell, I am pretty darn sure I could have canceled class and headed home…

That just doesn’t work for me.

It may sound silly, but she knew, now matter what, no matter how sick I was, or how many technical issues there were, problems with people or weather, no matter what, Tony would get the class done! I was damned if I was going use her passing as an excuse to not teach, (Somewhere, she has that knowing smile going right now.  She would always smile and give me the look of pride when I would come through.  I was NOT going let her down today)

I had managers, supervisors and clan Valente (those I had taught in the past) coming up to me all day letting me know I could leave, or ‘what did I need’, or how could they help.  I am sure many of my coworkers in Seattle went home, and I am glad they did, but I know me, and I know how I deal best, I stayed.

However, I do need to mention Carly from Clan Valente.  She texted me saying, I know you are sad, and you deserve a picture of boobs to cheer you up, so here it is!


It was WRONG, completely inappropriate for the work place, and I honestly fell to my knees laughing, and yes the eyes got a bit misty. I went straight to her desk, kissed the top of her head and gave her a hug.  I must be doing SOMETHING right to have so many people care about this cold and callous jerk.

The day ended, and I knew I had 2 choices.  I could go back to the Hotel, and go out for dinner and just drink (this seemed like a good reason to put dry January on hiatus). Or I could first do spin class, work out some frustration and THEN have wine.  I did plan B,


That chick kicked my ass, but honestly afterwards I felt much better! Also during the ride, I had this thought I posted on Facebook tonight:

Folks I lost a good friend today, she passed unexpectedly when we all thought she was on the road to recovery.

The thing is, no matter how bad the news we got at work, she always looked to me to say something competed unexpected to make people smile.

I thought I was going to let her down here, but during the spin class from hell it hit me.

The lady was the biggest Star Wars fan ever. And initially she was going to miss episode 7 to have surgery. It got postponed and she came in telling me “I get to see it!!!!” She was little kid with a huge smile.

I know, one of her last happy times was going to this movie with her family, and any time I watch it from here out, I will think of her and smile!

Raise your glasses to a very special lady, and I know her essence has joined the force!

So wherever you are, the next chance you get raise a glass of beer, wine or OJ to Claire.  One helluva lady, an excellent boss, and great friend, she will be missed.

But dammit, my class will go on tomorrow and it will get done on time! I am NOT letting her down!

Like the wind folks….

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