Today is not a particularly special day for me to be thinking about my friend Denise. It isn’t her birthday. It isn’t an anniversary of any kind. It isn’t even the anniversary of her funeral or of the day she died of an aneurysm in her brain over three years ago. But there are days, random days, days like today apparently, that she pops into my head.
In life, she was a wonderful mentor to me as I took on television for the first time in my career. She was by my side through Trading Spaces and I truly believe she developed me into the host I am. (I mean a good host, in case anyone was wondering. LOL.) Dare I say, she influenced the woman I am.
And even in death she speaks to me.
Whenever I need confidence in a new situation, I think of how she believed in me. Whenever I need to be brave, I think of the trails she blazed in her own life. She showed us what it meant to be “all in” through her own example. And whenever I want to feel powerful, I remember her inherent strength, and I tear a lesson out of her playbook.
She was, is, and will ever be the mentor that saw and developed my passion, commitment, and drive. Her presence affects me to this day even though she is gone.
So, on this random day, for no reason whatsoever, I want to give a shout out to my dear friend. I’m thinking of you today, Denise, as I so often do.
I miss you. I love you.
Paige, as a funeral director, I must tell you that your blog concerning your friend who passed away was extremely moving. A more beautiful and touching eulogy, I have not heard. Very eloquent and touching. I have found that the closer you are, and the deeper the love you hold for someone, the more intense the grief and the more vivid the memories. I commend you on opening up and sharing that love and grief with us. You will never, ever, lose those special times that the two of you shared.
Thank you, Kurt. Very kind of you to write that to me.
All my best, Paige
Paige: beautiful. Just beautiful. I miss her too. L-
Beautiful tribute to a beautiful woman.
Paige, Thank you for remembering Denise. I did not know her in life, but had the divine pleasure of knowing her mother and sister. I know they miss her dearly.
I’m not sure you remember me, but I was Denise’s assistant when she passed. I spoke at her memorial and was very moved by your speech and song. Maybe Denise has been making her rounds this week because she has been on my mind a lot lately. Thank you for this post, it reminded me of some things I tend to forget. I hope you are well!
I think that is the best tribute anyone can give another person…that we are thinking of them, randomly, for no particular reason. Because those people who touch our lives never leave us.
Well said, friend.
What a beautiful post for Denise. She had a gift for encouraging others and bringing out their absolute best. With all your heart, incredible talent, and accomplishments, it is no wonder you two were so close. Thank you for celebrating her. I was just chatting with an EMHE friend about her yesterday – the day you posted this.
Why are you so surprised? You know that is how she always did things. Organized and determined spontaneous activity was her specialty. I taught her in high school; caught her in some of her pranks too. She was not the “fabric.” She was the “thread” that would weave through the edges and pull things together and her sewing was quite a craft. The truth is that we are only ever “on loan” to one another in this life and where some despair at the loss of a friend, it’s the wrong angle. Better to rejoice in the gift of a friend, a precious gift appreciated even more in the absence because we take what’s precious for granted so easily. To say “she is in a better place” makes death sound like a trip to Wyoming. Denise was precious to God from the start and put into our lives as a gift (Tiffany & Co. or Spencer’s Inc. was hard to tell sometimes.) and “The souls of the just are in the hands of God” when they are among us and when they are beyond us. When memories poke through the cloudiness of daily thoughts, their brightness may startle us, but like the stars or moon on a crisp night, they amaze us and make us grateful.
Beautiful Paige…it’s football season that gets her in my head.. She loved her Steelers. #34 #goforMe #dc
Beautiful tribute and remembrance of a dear friend! Some people teach us to show up and be our best every day! She is always with you. Thinking of you and Risa…
I did not know Denise, however every person that I speak to that did know her speak of her with nothing but kind words and admiration. She did her work her however she is still working on the other side. SLAINTE