May 12, 2018

I met Tricia a very short time ago: August 2017

Cliff arrived in my Chicago for a conference. He texted me at almost 10pm, which is about 3 hours past my bedtime. He asked for restaurant recommendations for himself and one of his staffers. Everything was closed, so I responded in my usual rude way.

But since Cliff is special to me, I resisted the urge to go back to sleep and discovered Chinatown restaurants stay open until 2am. 14 years in Chicago, and I didn’t know this. The prospect of seeing Cliff and eating dim sum woke me right up.

I rolled my old bones out of bed and drove to meet my friend.

And I met Tricia.

Now, I don’t warm to people right away very often. But Tricia radiated kindness and light. I liked her instantly. She cautiously surveyed the curried cuttlefish we ordered and tried most things, open to adventure, but warned of her sensitive constitution.


She told us about the work she did for Cliff but she was quiet, and I gathered she didn’t warm to people quickly either. We parted that evening with plans to see each other again while they were in town, over burgers and BBQ. We talked about my hometown of Birmingham and how fun it might be to work together.

In January 2018, I came home to see my family for the holidays and was eager to see my new friend. Tricia didn’t know that I had decided to move home when we agreed to meet for lunch, but she had already arranged to help me consider it by introducing me to a potential job.

Within a week, we had a deal and within a month, I was driving cross-country to my new old home.

My new office was dark and isolated and lonely, so I would visit Tricia’s office often. It is as warm and bright as her smile, and she always had 80s music playing. And giant photos of her husband, of whom she spoke as lovingly as if he were right next to her, finishing her sentences.

Here we are at Iron City listening to The Molly Ringwalds and reveling in 80s nostalgia.


We lost our dear Tricia this morning.

I knew her for only a handful of months. I cannot imagine the pain of those who loved her for her entire life.

Thank you Tricia for bringing me home. I will miss your easy smile, your eagerness and ability to sense the needs of everyone around you, how much you love your husband, your dry humor, #TunaGate, and your notes on our dry-erase boards that read, “I love Tricia, she’s the best!”

Yes. Yes she is.

5 Responses to “Tricia”

  1. Tom Rubin Says:

    My condolences. Losing a good friend is never easy. *hugs*

  2. marykayhstl Says:

    I’m so sorry. I’m sure Tricia’s spirit will remain in you. And I know you will represent her well.

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