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It was in August 2003 that we met at a company picnic. I noticed Natacha across a crowded park – partly because we were two of only a handful of people under the age of thirty, but mostly because she was laughing with her co-worker and her eyes were literally sparkling. My teammate caught me staring and introduced us. Throughout the night we ate, we talked, we laughed and competed against each other in a potato sack race. That is still our life today.
Natacha is my best friend. She is a die-hard optimist, as competitive and ambitious as I am, loving, easy-going and is a mama bear you do not want to get on the bad side of. She is also contradictory in that she is a romantic and superstitious yet extremely academic minded. She watches the history channel and reads biographies in between reading romance novels. She loves grapes but hates grape juice, loves cake batter but hates cake, and on and on.
Natacha’s parents are Caribbean immigrants, so she is a first generation American. She grew up on Long Island with two sisters who she is very close with. Her parents have been married for over 40 years and between the two of them, have 14 siblings. As a result, Natacha’s family is HUGE and all live within thirty miles of each other. At our wedding, at least 100 of our guests were either her aunts/uncles, or cousins. Now that the cousins have children we are always at a wedding, graduation, communion, or barbecue.
I have watched Natacha raise our children and have seen how great of a mother she is. The children come first above all and she will move heaven and earth to keep them safe and make sure they know they are loved. She is patient, loving, yet firm (I am a bigger softy). I am fortunate to have her and the children in my life. I know that any child will be lucky to have her as a mom.