We seek refuge from tragedy. Tragedy at work, we go home, hug our friends and family. Tragedy at home, we dive into work. We reach for our stability, our foundation.
That was Colleen.
She was our coworker, party planner, office mom, one woman welcome wagon, dynamo, admin department, ice cream cone stocker. She was our cheerleader. She pulled us forward with her energy. She was always there, ready to work with a quick smile, ready with a homemade snack at 2 pm. She watched our families grow, and she watched us grow. And, gasping, it was all we could do to keep up with her.
I remember the first time I met Colleen. My husband was interviewing with Integral, and it was my first time in Seattle. Instead of waiting or hanging out somewhere alone, Colleen offered to show me her city.
We got in her car, and she drove me around. We saw the Space Needle, and she explained about the Denny Regrade and how to find your way around without a map or phone. She took me up to Green Lake, recommending parks and telling me about the history of the bridges and the Lenin statue in Fremont. Then we came back downtown and walked around Pacific Place Mall, down Pike Street to Pike Place. She showed me all the levels of Pike Place, and we walked the entire length of it.
As I struggled up Stuart Street after her, trying to keep up as she described the Seattle Underground and her latest back country hiking trip, I realized something. I had only known her for a few hours, but already I was certain. She was an amazing woman.
Three years later, far too short a time, I know Colleen Morgan was so much more than just an amazing woman.
The least of which I can say is, she was my friend.