Thursday, March 11, 2010

An open letter.

Dear Chez,

I have a mixture of happiness and sadness at today’s news of your resignation. Selfish me is so sad to see you leave Kaisercraft; it’s one less person that I work with that I love. I have said ‘farewell and good luck’ to a few workmates –friends – recently that I really care about, and you are another. The other side of me is so pleased that you have recognised that work is dimming your lamp, and that you’ve had the courage to say enough’s enough.

I’m also sad because I know people won’t fully appreciate what we are losing. Your passion for the outlet, even from its humble beginnings in the tin shed in North Geelong, is second to none. Your passion for the causes the outlets raise money for, is also second to none. I really believe no one at Kaisercraft, Stephen and Carolyn included, care about the kids we provide for, more than you. I sometimes wish the outlet still was in that tin shed in North Geelong, you seemed so happy there.

I’m so unbelievably and indescribably grateful for your friendship. That our friendship and love could sprout, grow and flourish is a true testament to its strength; particularly considering our vastly different belief structures; your devout Christianity and my staunch Atheism. You came along at just the right time in my life, my marriage breakdown felt like losing a leg, but you were there to be my crutch. The tears I have cried on your shoulder, the anger I have vented to you, the frustrations I have divulged, and the occasional, usually small, victories I have shared with you have all been cathartic for me. Healing and grief overlap, and only very, very few people have been there – wanted to be there – to help me heal, and share my grief. Whatever path my life takes, I will not forget the support you’ve been to me through the worst of it.

Thank you for your ‘shugs’.

Thank you for the love you give Anzac and Lola. If I start counting the people who love them truly, madly, deeply, unconditionally and often, I come to your name before I’ve counted past my first hand. You are such a friend to them already. Even at (almost) four, and 2 and a half, I know you mean the world to my kids, and I know when they start reeling off names of the people they love, ‘Chezzie’ is always right near the top of the list. Thank you also for the practical support you’ve given me, babysitting on the odd occasions I’ve been stuck for help (even though I know both you and them consider hanging out together a real treat!).

Chez, if I have given back half of what I have taken from you I will be happy. I have tried my best to be a good friend, I try to give the best advice I can, and I try to just be there and listen when that’s what you need. I hope I honour your friendship enough to get those things right. I have taken and taken and taken from your lamp when mine has been dull, but I hope in my moments of personal strength, that I have been able to give you light from my lamp, making you bright again. You are one of the brightest lights in my life.

This sounds like a eulogy, doesn’t it? I’m glad I can do/say this now, when you are here to read it. Because sometimes, things aren’t said, and people never know how important they are. I want you to know.

You spend so much time lifting others that you forget about yourself. Now it’s time to think of you, be selfish. You are worthy of the love you receive. Don’t ever doubt that, or second guess yourself. When people want to listen to you, when they want you to lean on them, when they want to love you, know it’s the universe paying you back for all that you have given – it’s them paying you back for all that you have given, done and been for them. Receive that love with the good grace with which it is given and offered, and know that you deserve the love you receive. Do you hear me? You deserve the love you receive.

Chez, I look forward to being your friend for a long time. I look forward to hanging out with you and David many times over many years to come. I love your caustic sarcasm as much as I love your genuine love. It all makes you, you. All the poxy Lancôme in the world doesn’t make you any more beautiful to me than you already are. All the best for whatever unfolds, whatever it is, you know I’ll be right there, either next to you, or only ever a phone call away. Call me any time... any time, and I’ll be there.

With unconditional love,



chez said...

I was going for 2 tear free days in a row 'til now. You are so wonderful and always are there for me. On my darkest day you were there. God is good isn't he, bringing us together. he he he. Luv you.

Debbie said...

Simon, that was the most moving thing I think I have ever read. Was hard holding back the tears....Chez is going to be deeply missed at the outlet, for sure and I have had many people say to me over the last week since she resigned that the outlet is CHEZ!!! They come to see her...and buying some scrapping stuff is second. She is a very special lady and will be missed by MANY!!!
I hope you are well and those precious kids of yours are too..
Keep Smilin
Deb xo

Melissa Kennedy said...

You mean the world to her to Simon. A Friend in need is a friend indeed so the quote says and i know you have both been there for each other.
Yes she will be missed and i agree the outlet won't be the same without her.