It's election season and I am missing my friend Angela Cooley. All of my friends seem to fall into different categories. I love them all, but the relationships with each of them is different. Angela and I would get together and discuss books, social issues and politics. She was one of the realest people I have ever encountered in my life. She could be rambunctious at times. But, charmingly so. She was comfortable in her skin and she knew who she was. You either liked her or you didn't. I loved Angela for her free spirit. When we first met (at work) I would've never thought that we would've ended up being friends. She was too loud and too brash, or at least that's what I thought. After working together for almost a year, our managers moved us to desks near one another and we ended up engaging in a lot of very politically candid conversations. By the time 2004 came around we were social and political kindred spirits and it was election time. I was young, fearless, goofy and bold and she was, well, she was Angela. We had a supervisor that was a hardcore George Bush supporter and we decided that it would be hilarious if we decorated his office with John Kerry pictures and signs. We arrived to work a few minutes early to make sure he wasn't there. We decorated everything from his desk to the computer to the ceiling. Hilarious! He came in that day and his face turned red and we could tell he was pissed. We were delighted!!! I look back at it now and we were fortunate that he didn't fire us. Anyway, that's my favorite memory of Angela.
Angela passed away a couple of weeks before my birthday in April. I knew she had been sick. I remember seeing her in the hospital a couple of years before she died and my heart broke because she didn't look like the same person to me. The great thing about her was that she never lost that spirit from which our friendship was built. She was sick physically, but her spirit was as alive as it had always been. She even took the time while she was sick to write a book review for my blog. I was shocked when she passed because regardless of whether or not someone is sick, you just always hope they get better. Her family asked me to read the obituary and I was SCARED TO DEATH!!! I was afraid I would breakdown at the funeral home and not be able to do it. But, I didn't. I walked to the front of the chapel and read the obit. I feel blessed they asked me to do that. I felt like I got the opportunity to say goodbye.
2008 is going to be a hard year because every time I turn on CNN or any news channel they are talking about debates, caucuses and primaries and I always want to grab my phone, call Angela and say, "Did you hear that?" "What do you think?" ... It's an especially exciting time because Barack Obama is running and Hillary Clinton. How amazing is it that the frontrunners for the Democrats is an African-American man and a woman? Amazing.
I miss my friend!