That's her nickname. Pronounced Nancheet. Felice named her that. Why, I don't know. But Nancy returned the favor and renamed Felice, "Navidad."
So Nanchite and Navidad and Kris (why I didn't get a nickname, I'll never know) go way back. Way, way back. Navidad was at Elizabeth's first birthday party. I reminded Elizabeth tonight that Felice, I mean Navidad, was the one who gave her that scary battery-operated dog that jumped and turned flips. It about blew her out of her diapers. Elizabeth said, "You mean that awesome dog that I still have?" Yeah, that one. And Felice and I gave Nancy her "baby shower" when she not only didn't bring a baby home from the hospital... but instead brought home two kids, aged 4 and 5. Nancy had been determined to have kids before me... and adopting was the best way she knew to accomplish this, I guess.
But back to the tale.
Nancy's illness has spawned a lot of email tributes this week that are amazing to read. One person built off of an update that Nancy sent out on herself a few weeks ago. And from that, friends are writing and forwarding all kinds of wonderful tales about how they met Nancy and how she affected their lives.
And there are so many people that are responding. You'd think she was a celebrity.
My greatest regret right now is in not realizing the prized possession I had all this time. I've had Nancy as a friend... a great friend... for over 30 years. 32 to be exact. Maybe even 33. She was my maid of honor (okay, she was my matron of honor since she just had to get married first!) and we were roommates at least three times before that.
I just never knew.
And although she is still with us at this time, her time is short. I am diligently trying to rearrange my schedule to go back to see her this coming weekend but if I don't make it, I am happy that I had one great weekend out there. And it was completely devoted to Nancy.
Somehow I have to let her know that I'm still here for her... always have been... and always will be.
My heart is aching tonight. There's too much distance between us.