From Friend, Janet Varga

My name is Janet and I am honored to say that Nicole was my friend.

She was one of my treasured friends. The kind of friend that when you see each other you could just pick up where you left off.  We would do that with each other no matter how much time had passed. We could immediately get down to it. We could share feelings of what was going on with all aspects of our life.  Our marriages, children, work and our own ”stuff” we liked to call it. We often would hug and say our goodbye knowing weren’t alone in our thinking. I will cherish those visits. Nicole always inspired me and encouraged me and will continue to do so always.

I remember the moment I knew we would be friends. It was in junior high, grade 9 and I was new to the school. She walked by my class and waved to me and gave me that big beautiful smile.

We cherished the days of our youth and the fun we shared with the gang. The countless group bike rides, swimming at the dykes…..so many laughs and so many good times. We always hung around in a big group. Having a twin brother was a bonus as it added the “boy” factor to the group and most of the visits tended to be at our place.

One of my highlights of our friendship was watching her fall in love with Scott and witnessing her excitement on planning and moving to the island to start her new life. She was so happy.

Being an only child Nicole always wished she had a sister. I clearly remember a conversation when we were teenagers chatting. She told me how she wished so much that she had a sister and I remember jokingly telling her that she was welcome to have mine. She immediately responded “see exactly Jan that’s exactly it. I would love to have a sister even if I wanted to give her away sometimes.”

How wonderful for Nicole that she found that sisterly relationship with her dear lifelong friend Karen for whom made such a positive difference in her life.

Nicole exceeded the definition of the term friend. She always gave her strength, support, forgiveness, encouragement, wisdom, humor and kindness to all the friends in her life.

She was such a good person. With her ability to live life in the moment with the glass half full all the time.

When she told me of her cancer she never felt sorry for herself in fact, she said “why not me Jan…..I am no better than anyone else” honestly I think she was.

Some of Nicole’s friends from her Maple Ridge days shared some of the following:

Not many of us can still say they are friends with people from elementary school or even high school, but there is a group of us here today that are exactly that. Some of us met Nicole in Elementary school. She moved to Maple Ridge in grade 2 and quickly made friends, some of whom she stayed in contact with for more than 33 years. When we went to high school Nicole’s circle of friends grew even larger. We watched her grow up from a little girl who wanted to be a Charlie’s Angel to the wife and mother she became. Throughout it all she was always the same kind, generous, positive person that we knew and loved. Game for anything, whether it was stealing her mom’s car at 15 or zip lining in Whistler at 40. Nic was always up for the challenge.

A lot of great things happened when the group of us got together. But the most important was when Nic met Scott on the cruise in 1992. What were the chances that 8 girls from Maple Ridge would meet up with 8 guys from the island? What are the chances that one of us would fall in love and get married? It must have been fate. Any man that could under-go the scrutiny of Nic’s friends and get a thumbs up, had proved himself worthy of her.

One of her friends remembered that Nicole was the type of friend that no matter how much of herself she shared, Nicole liked her anyway. She was always genuine and real with no heirs about her. Nicole always had a funny and free spirited side. Anita recently watched a home video of her 7th birthday. There was Nic with a balloon stuffed up her shirt hamming it up. In fact, most of the pictures we have of Nic she is doing something cute and fun in them. Some remember how brave she was. Watching her zip line hands free like a bird and coming in on the last line like an upside down ballerina.

Of course, Nic sure liked her fashion and always looked great. This started way back in 1981 when she was the first gal in school sporting the Lady Di hair cut, the rest soon followed.

Nicole went through a lot with all the friends in her life, both good and bad, weddings, babies and the losses of loved ones. Everyone will remember what a true amazing friend she was and will cherish the memories.

Love, hope, faith, family and friendship were always with Nicole during her journey. The strength and courage she demonstrated was inspiring and breathtaking.

Scott, the courage, strength, love and friendship you provided Nic for the past 20 years most importantly the past few months was outstanding. Thank you so much for taking such good care of our friend.

To her girls…sisters….Brooke and Jada. You both share so many of your mother’s wonderful qualities. These qualities will continue to help you build wonderful lifetime friendships just as she did.

Finally, to our dear friend Nicole, thank you for your gift of friendship. All of us are better because you were our friend and ALL of us will strive to be a better friend because of you.

Until we meet again our angel friend…we love you and miss you. Thank you for reminding us all that …..Life is beautiful.