There is only one woman I’ve ever let retro daddy stay out till early morning in the city to play pool with – and that was Nicki. And as I publish this retro daddy is in Oklahoma to say his final goodbyes to her. At her funeral. The shock that she was so tragically taken from us hasn’t gone away yet.
We first met Nicki when she was the office manager when retro daddy started work back in australia just before we got married. Way back in 2004. He was only at work for a couple of weeks before our wedding day but Nicki organised a delivery of a few items from our bridal registry. She was a born organiser and loved getting people together. Drinks after work, thanksgiving day parties, dinners and lunches. I remember she organised a girls lunch at her flat for all the wives, girlfriends and ladies in the team and made 2 lasagnes including a vegetarian just for me as I didn’t eat meat.
She was a traveller. Working all over the world with PWC and making friends wherever she went. And she was always on holiday somewhere and visiting new places. She actually had a big wall map with all the places she had been. We were so sad when she moved to London after Sydney and before she left gave me the most gorgeous big bundle of clothes from Baby Gap for the baby that was to be Keira. She was always so generous sending us gifts as our family grew. I still remember how she just picked up the tab at retro daddy’s 30th birthday party. She would have thought nothing of it.
Nicki became a mentor to retro daddy and if he ever had a question or didn’t get a job he wanted at work I’d always tell him to go and ring Nicki (wherever she was living). I knew she’d get on the phone and give him the right advice. And whenever she was in Sydney she’d come visit us.
If there was a baby in the room she was holding it, if there was a pool table she was playing at it or had her $2 coin lined up ready to play, if there was a bar she was having a drink with friends and if there was a reason to go out – well she had already organised a group of people to go out. And she didn’t need a reason. She was the person who kept everyone together.
She was funny, generous, a friend to everyone, so well loved and had the biggest smile in the world. I’ll remember her always having a perfect manicure, her love of t-shirts and jeans or shorts, her postcards from her latest holiday destination, her voice and big laugh, for calling retro daddy ‘J’, for her stories about all of her friends around the world and growing up in Oklahoma, for always caring about us and for her love of life. Tragedies leave us with no explanation, no reason, and leave us no time to say goodbye or tell someone how much they mean to you.
Nicki was a part of our little family and always will be. We love you and we miss you already and I’m sure you’re organising the social calender in heaven. Rest in peace, sweet lady.