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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Best Friends Forever- Dear Paola

Sharing youth, Sharing dreams, Sharing fears, Sharing secrets, Sharing laughter, Sharing tears, Sharing triumphs, Growing closer over the years. A friendship that will never die. This is how I feel about Paola.

I spent the day yesterday with my best friend Paola and her family.  I love all of them and have known them for most of my life. The connection that I have with this beautiful family is extraordinary and Im reminded of that every year at their annual birthday party for their daughters, Hannah and Emma.  The Garelick family have the most amazing party every year to celebrate their daughters. It is not simply a birthday party but something much more symbolic to me.

Im sure many of my local readers have had the pleasure of visiting their gourmet stores named appropriately Garelick and Herbs.  They have locations in Westport, Greenwich and New Canaan. The food is exquisitely prepared and their staff is courteous and extremely knowledgeable.  They also have a very cosmopolitan club called Mora Mora which is located in South Norwalk.  Everything that Paola and Jason touch is done with elegance, detail, sophistication and perfection. The party at their house yesterday was magnificent with a variety of gourmet food to delight everyone. My children were enamored with the ice cream sundae bar that was complete with an unlimited supply of delicious treats. It was pure culinary heaven.

In fact, one of the fondest memories of spending time with this family was watching Maria prepare various Italian specialty dishes- all the time.
My parents were friends with the family as well and my father often bragged about the fact that he learned how to make Gnocchi from Maria. How cute he was as he boasted of his new talent.  My father loved Paola's parents and in fact was proud of their related Italian backgrounds. He loved to hear Paola's father speak of his journey from Italy to the States and my grandparents enjoyed spending time with them as well.  My father was very vocal about how much he admired the entire family. I know that when he died, they all were there for us in such a beautiful way.

I will never forget the day that my father died. Paola and Maria showed up at our home, prepared food for all of us, set up and cleaned up everything without saying very much. It was one of the most meaningful moments in time for me. It exemplified a friendship that goes way beyond- a friendship filled with love and compassion and a friendship to me that is just as loving, if not more than family. They comforted us and fed our souls with not only food but with empathy and love. 

Paola is also married to a wonderful man. He is bright, charming, successful and dedicated to his family. They are a stunning couple with children who are accomplished and bright.  I met Jason when I was in college and often joke with him as I remember that he used to say he wanted to open a "deli". We laugh as Garelick and Herbs is hardly a deli and it wonderful for me to see their dream come into fruition. They are passion and devoted to their work and it shows in every single detail.

Then, I have to mention Nicolisa,  she has the eyes of an angel and the soul of a person who is rooted in compassion and kindness. Her beauty radiates from the inside and I have always wished for her to be my sister. If I had to guess what she may have been in a previous life, it would be some sort of spiritual healer.
She is a very inspirational person who is bright and loving and I also feel very close to her.

It is so neat to know a family for so long. The comfort, love and ease that exists is wonderful.  Christopher in fact learned how to dance the Tarantella yesterday. He danced with all the ladies with great enthusiasm. I want my children to feel the love that I have for this family and I believe they in fact do.  Paola's father calls my son Tony as he reminds him of my father. There could be no greater compliment.

Thank you Paola and Jason for always including us in your family gatherings.  Time spent with true friends is incredibly meaningful. Paola, I will always love you like a sister. You know me like no other and while we don't spend too much time together --You are always on my mind and in my heart. xoxo

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