So many of my friends have grown to love Emily Kinch who worked as my faithful assistant for the past several years. Those of you who know and love Emily, now merely tolerate me, if at all. At the end of the month Emily said goodbye to 12 years of employment at Graceway to embark on a brave new adventure. She is currently preparing over the next several months to pursue a degree in simultaneous interpretation and will eventually be moving to Europe. This is a great opportunity for Emily, and all of us at Graceway are excited for her, though we will miss her dearly.
The question from several of you has been, “who is taking her place.” The answer, of course, is that no one can fully take the place of anyone else. There is no one like Emily, and no one could ever take her place. However, there is someone who is quickly making a place of her own, and I want to introduce you to her. She is Natalia Ray.
Let me tell you a bit of her story. First, you need to know that after Emily spoiled me, I had only two items on the job description for this position – the person must be Costa Rican and must enjoy good coffee. The rest is up for negotiation. Well, Natalia is a native of Costa Rica, and she enjoys a good cup of coffee. Thank God! ¡Pura vida! She came to the United States to attend college in Springfield, Missouri where she met her husband Stephen. Stephen and Natalia have two sons, Jake and Ethan, 10 and 7 years of age. Stephen had a very successful used and rare book business in Springfield, while Natalia has worked as a translator for the Assemblies of God publishing house and others. Y para mis amigos hispanohablantes, por supuesto en nuestra oficina se habla español. Stepe¡hen and Natalia have been friends of Graceway for years and are happy to now be part of the family. We are just as happy to have them.
I am very much looking forward to working with Natalia. I can do a few things well enough, but the truth is that I desperately need a keeper. No, not someone to shield me from people – just someone to keep me between the white lines. Both Emily and Natalia are good with details. Good thing. I am absolutely horrible with details. I can be very forgetful, retreat to my own little mental world and lose all contact with reality, am the least observant human on the planet and … did I mention that I am horrible with details? I forgot.
Like I said, I need a keeper.
So, in your dealings with me, you are likely to come across Natalia somewhere along the pathway. Please welcome her and treat her well. I think you’ll quickly grow to love and appreciate her.