Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Happy Birthday Amanda!

Amanda Cooper and husband Jim Noel

Yes today is my best friend, Amanda's birthday. Out of respect for my elders, I will not divulge her age, but she is much older than I am.

Amanda deserves a lot of recognition for everything she does. She is not only the campaign manager for our high powered, high energy Governor Bill Richardson, but she also has a magnificent horse ranch, and personally cares for the dozen or so horses she has there, in addition to her many cats, dogs, and loving husband, Jim.

Amanda is kind to everyone she meets. She bubbles with energy and joy, and people are immediately taken with her charm. She has a great sense of humor.

When I met Amanda we were doing campaign work for a guy running for State Senate, but we were also dropping literature for her step-father, Tom Udall, who was running for Congress. We were partnered up, and I immediately liked her (as everyone does) because she was handing out the pamphlets and saying, "Vote for my dad, he's a great guy!" to everyone. We became great friends.

The next spring my father was diagnosed with colon cancer. Surgery was scheduled, but it had spread too far, and he was given a few months to live. When he was hospitalized at the end of his life Amanda came to his bedside every day and sat with him, holding his hands, telling him stories, making him laugh. He just adored her. Dad was a great judge of character.

When Dad died, Amanda was right there for me. She was so strong for me and my family, and really helped us through that difficult time. A couple of days later I got a call from her, her cat Scatter had been injured by a car engine. The poor kitty suffered terribly and then died. Amanda and I, consumed by so much loss, just sat in her porch and cried for hours.

We both moved around over the years, and I got stuck in Missouri. I wanted to come back to NM for years, but with our jobs and our house and kids I didn't think we would ever get the chance to move back home, but Amanda took my husband's resume to a friend in state government and he got an interview. With Charles's experience he was able to get a good job, and we came back home last year. My children, thanks in no small part to Amanda, have had a year with my elderly and sick grandparents, and there is no substitute for that.

My oldest daughter is named after her Aunt Amanda. She is the Godmother of my kids. They are crazy about her, but who wouldn't be? She plays with them, she chases them, she spoils them rotten, she makes them laugh, and she even taught my son the "spoon on the nose trick as seen here...

Watch Willie do his trick!

There is no person more kind, generous, witty or charming than Amanda. She is much older than me, but we have a special connection, and I will always love her.

Happy birthday, my dear friend!

1 comment:

Michelle said...

Amanda sounds like an extraordinary and special woman - as are you, Cara. The two of you are very blessed and very fortunate to have shared such a beautiful friendship.
Happy Birthday to Amanda! :)