So today is a bit of a sad day for me. It’s the third anniversary of my friend, and colleague, Jo’s death. For some reason I have already started a tradition of drinking bubbles on the anniversary – ideally pink – so this is what I will be doing tonight. I will raise a glass to a woman who could be a little tricky at times (luckily the photocopier bore the brunt of her not infrequent tempers!) but was generally brilliant and very special.
Jo was a bit of an inspiration really. She died just before her 31st birthday and it was both a horrible shock and a complete injustice. I don’t think I have known anyone who lived life to the full in the way that she did. If she wanted to take a holiday in China, she wouldn’t wait to find someone else to go with her, she’d just book it and go. Her friends gave her a dancing lesson with Ian Waite for her 30th birthday – instead of rocking up and being a bit rubbish, Jo enrolled herself in ballroom dancing classes, all by herself, and got good so that her lesson would actually mean something and so she didn’t make a fool of herself in from of Mr Waite! She joined a rowing club just because she fancied it. She wasn’t scared of anything…or perhaps she was but just decided to do it anyway.
Jo was obsessed with her Abel & Cole veg box (other vegetable delivery companies are available) and hated waste. She would make the most bizarre concoctions out of that box just so she didn’t have to throw it away. We would always see the leftovers in a variety of tupperware boxes at lunchtime while the rest of us were eating a “fat girl triple” from M&S or a “naughty tuna” from EAT (names coined by the lady herself for her favourite sandwiches.) She point blank refused to eat the office fruit because it had been flown in from god knows where. She had actual principles and she stuck to them.
I wish that I was more like Jo. I am scared of everything. I’m scared of taking risks and so I just spend my life plodding along in dull monotony rather than pursuing happiness. Jo never really lost the faith that she would meet someone, get married and have beautiful chubby babies, despite her faith being extremely tested at times. Sadly, it didn’t happen for her before she died. I have lost the faith of The Dream and she would be so cross with me for doing so. She would also be incredibly cross that I put back on all the weight that I had lost after she died. She was an amazing support when I was losing that weight, dragging me to yoga, helping me to remember that I couldn’t eat bad things. She helped me choose the dress that I am wearing in one of the skinny pictures in The history… post. She was genuinely proud that I had done so well. She would be cross with me.
So I will lose it again. And if not for me, then for her. And I will get back into that dress. And when I do, I shall open a bottle of pink bubbles and toast her again.