There is a well worn cliche which states “friends for a reason, friends for a season, friends for a lifetime”. Some people seem to come and go after serving a specific purpose in your life, while others tend to stick around forever. Sometimes the same person pops up time and again, always at the exact right moment.
I met Dezy for the first time in 2006. I was trying to get her company to start marketing South America as a tourist destination. I walked away from our first meeting thinking she was completely crazy – an explosion of energy with an infectious laugh. The meeting felt more like a social catch-up than a business discussion and it turned out to be the start of a connection that has, despite long periods of no contact, weathered the years.
Collaborating on the launch of the product, we ended up travelling to Brazil together (she is the toilet seat purchaser). It was on this trip that we shared a once in a lifetime experience; it was our last evening in Rio de Janeiro and we had plonked ourselves down on Ipamena Beach with a couple of beers. As we sat having a laugh, the sun began dipping behind the mountain when without warning, the entire crowd on the beach stood up and started applauding the sunset. Being there in that moment is something that no photo or attempt at explanation can truly capture.
Real spine-tingling stuff!
The following few years saw us both changing jobs and besides one extremely random “what are you doing here?” moment in London, we lost contact – until one day she walked through my office door… She had been employed as my new boss! We picked up where we left off and the short time we worked together saw her take a keen interest not only in helping me further my skills for my role but in developing several non-work-related interests too. It was her who urged me to start writing again.
Earlier this year I contacted her and told her that I had finally taken her advice (albeit 4 years later) and had started blogging. Her reaction was typically Dezy – excited and reaffirming. She was one of my first not-blood-relation subscribers!
Last month she phoned me out of the blue to give me some feedback on my writing. We had a quick catch up on developments in her life and despite a number of changes – changes that many others would see as setbacks – Dezy told me that she was truly happier than she had ever been. I put the phone down wondering how she continually managed to tackle her challenges with enthusiasm, always believing that things would work out for the best.
Then last week, I had a hypnotised chicken moment…
I found out that Dezy had been involved in an attempted robbery and had been shot. Like with any news of this nature, I was stunned back to reality. An incident that had elicited a large amount of stress for me earlier in the day no longer seemed relevant, showing how much importance I had given the truly unimportant in my life.
I contacted her immediately and she responded in her usual upbeat manner. “I’m not taking it seriously”, she said. “I’m alive, I’m cautious and I’m grateful”. I was left, as always, in awe of her resilience and attitude.
I am not 100% sure which category Dezy falls into – “reason, season or lifetime”. What I do know is that despite long periods of silence, she tends to pop up at key moments in my life, providing me with oft-needed inspiration coupled with a well timed kick in the backside.
We often wait until it’s too late before telling the people who we care about how we feel.
I no longer want to do that, starting with you, Dezy. You have had more impact on my life than you can ever imagine. I am so very grateful that I can call you a colleague, friend, mentor and just generally the person who reminds me not to take myself too seriously! Please stay as special and crazy as you are and let me know if you need a fedora to go with your new purple suit. Thanks for always reminding me about the important things. I’m sending loads of love your way and wish you a speedy recovery!