The very first time I met Rachie was when I was about 8 years old. Christina was having a sleepover with a group of her friends and Rachel was one of them. I remember my dad “made” chocolate mousse for everyone. My dad asked me to go tell the girls dessert was ready. For some reason, I went down to the basement and said, “does anyone want some chocolate MOOOOOUSSSSEEE?”. Naturally, Christina gave me the embarrassed sister glare to leave. But Rachie, looked at me for few seconds with a curious face (probably thinking “who’s this weirdo?) and belted out laughing in her contagious laugh and responded, “I’ll have some chocolate MOOOOUSSSEEE!”. In that moment when she could have easily just ignored my goofiness, she embraced me whole heartedly and made me feel welcomed. It was a pivotal moment in my childhood, she made me realize it’s perfectly ok to be goofy aka myself because she embraced me for me. That’s just who Rachie is, she radiates love wherever she goes – no matter how weird you are!
Fast forward nineteen years later, we all three ended up in New York City a few months apart from each other. A year or so later we ended up at 252 Mott Street. I remember we saw some strange apartments that day and Mott Street was the last stop. Rachie turned around and goes “I feel at home here”. After tacos and several margaritas later, we all agreed with Rachie, it felt like a place where we would make great memories. And boy did we! I loved all my moments living there and it was all because of Rachie. She was the glue to it all, whether she knew it or not. There wasn’t a day (good or bad) we wouldn’t make each other laugh. Or constantly prank one another (my personal favorite prank on her was plastering pictures of New York City’s finest taxi drivers all over her room to hear at random moments her breakout in her contagious laugh). But being a part of her pranks to her family and friends and watching the joy it gave her was by far the best thing to be a part of. She made getting ready for work fun (like what!?!). We would always blast music in the morning before work & share new songs we just heard. We would have our Mott St. soul cycle nights (where several times we had to cheer each other on to climb the three flights of stairs after the class). Whenever we lost something in the apartment Rachel would force us to say the Tony prayer. Sometimes Rach would yell the prayer just to make sure Tony heard her. We always found what we were looking for, Tony always heard her (especially if she yelled!). Our Sunday strolls around our neighborhood, and our heart to hearts on the balcony or edge of her bed where we talked about our weird days, frustrations, life, love and about our old souls from a past life. To dinners out together and whenever we got the dessert menu, she’d look at me & go “oh look, they have chocolate MOOOOUSSSEEE!!”.
She taught me so much about life. To love is to embrace one another with kindness, to give fear the middle finger and live your life to the fullest, to take risks no matter how scary, live with no regrets, be adventurous – travel the world, never lose your sense of humor, and most important of all -to love yourself wholeheartedly! She is constantly teaching me, there are moments where I am pondering something and I can hear her say “don’t doubt yourself, you know what to do!”.
The strength I have, I have because of her. Your light will live on in us!
Love you Rachie (aka Harold)
-Nellie (aka Richard)