Wednesday, May 2, 2018


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 Windows at ETRO, Soho NYC

One of my best friends passed recently. Figured that I'd share the remarks I presented at her memorial this past weekend:

As we travel through life, there are people that we're naturally drawn to, be it their well-spoken words, common interests, a fancy flair of fashion or just the way they smile. These people join our network, a few enter our inner circle, and the lucky ones secure a spot as a best friend, spouse or lifelong companion. Keep reading for more...

Sly eye from the little guy...

Walking into a new job at Tumi in 2005, I'd never imagine the girl upstairs would become one of my best friends and most trusted advisors. We were so different--Crystal and I. She was disgusted at the idea of sea salt on chocolate chip cookies and I didn't understand her grudge against fresh tomatoes. She loved Reality TV--and I preferred political docs-dramas. (We did find common ground in the Great British Baking Show). But all in all, we held common values on life, love and what it means to be a good person.

Over the years, as our friendship evolved from office launches to dinners out with assorted circles of friends... to Vegetarian Thanksgivings and Dine-In Movie nights with my parents, I saw a deeper side of Crystal. She was the person who volunteered to watch her friend's kids, so they could catch a break... and the one that took my dad out to dinner, after my mom passed. She was the tough negotiator who always found a way to get the best deal... and the fighter when she felt wronged. She was the proud Auntie who couldn't wait to face time with her nephew, Morgan or show off his newest pictures... and the thoughtful friend who remembered birthdays and special days, and sought out the perfect gifts to suit. She was the attentive listener who gave the best advice.

Through a tumult of changes in my life and hers, Crystal always had the right words. And for a period of time, there were no shortage. We spoke EVERY day for the last 3 years and she constantly brought a fresh perspective. In conversation, she embraced the brevity of life and shared her bucket list--it was exciting to watch her realize these dreams--to get a phone call from Bali detailing the activities and foods of the day... to see a text with a picture and hear that she took the plunge and bought the matching Louis Vuitton handbag she had been eyeing for years... to talking through the benefits of curbing her commute and moving cross-country. Though it's only been a short while, these and many other accomplishments and the many lives touched by Crystal Barnes evidence a life that was graciously spent.

What initially drew me to Crystal was her personality. Her warms mile and inclusive attitude powerfully put anyone at ease and her way with words rounded out an effective professional persona. Of many admirable qualities, Crystal saw the positive in people and handled life with grace and dignity. Everyone around Crystal became part of a better world because she brought such love into it. We'll miss you Crystal and keep you in our hearts always.

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