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I try not to get attached to things because I’m a Plain Quaker in my private life (or try to be much to the chagrin of my husband who walks around in a dark home at night), work in a Buddhist environment, and have always loved the word evanescent even if the meaning of it doesn’t thrill me.

But last night, trying to be a few steps ahead with ironing the family’s outfits for this week, I found a perfect sweater for my daughter to go with light violet stretch pants. Yes, I went to bed excited imagining how she would look for school today.

nicoles-pulli1The sweater was made by an amazing friend from Iowa. In fact, Nicole and her family lived next door to us at a small Quaker boarding school. I shared quite a few laughs with Nicole, especially when I needed a life reality check. As someone who loves to process, sometimes out loud, I drove her bonkers, but we always bounced back as friends. Having someone close by who can tell it to you straight is a real gift.

Nicole brought many gifts to our family, the most important of which is love for our daughter. She pushed Ellen and my husband and me to move forward even during times where I wanted to hold still. As no-nonsense as Nicole’s approach could be, it was balanced with an understated sensitivity.

I see the complexity and delicacy of my friend Nicole in the sweater she made for my daughter. For me it is like a coat of many colors, thread with pure gold or at least memories of Tante Nicole who is now thousands of miles away but sure still helps me keep my faith.