My dear, lovely, unique Karla,

I am so happy that you answered my message, you can’t imagine – I thought I lost my correspondence with you when I couldn’t reach you anymore on your old e-mail addresses.

This will be a longer e-mail and I will start by apologizing for answering with a delay of few days but I was on the road, we went to Miami for my appointment at the Romanian Embassy (I don’t have one in Orlando). My Romanian Passport expired and I had to go in person to fill in the forms for a renewal.

I also want to thank you from all my heart for the invitation to attend your birthday, it’s such an honor – it means a lot to me…. You already know I have tremendous respect and admiration for you since the first time I met you 23 years ago, in November 1996. Many times throughout my life, in difficult moments or in successful moments, both personal and professional, I thought of you and the way you talked to me and advised me and I love you for that.Although, unfortunately, I will not be able to be in Canada in September because Scott and I will be in Dubai and Oman for his work. I read the details of the invitation and absolutely,  we would love to make a donation for the charity that is so dear to your heart. I will look again to see if I can understand how to send the money and if not, I will send you and Paula a separate e-mail to see if you can guide me on how to do it.
And I want you to know that despite the fact that I will not be able to physically attend your birthday party, my heart and my thoughts will be there with you.

My dear Karla, on a more serious note, I also just read on your website about the incredibly difficult journey you are on since last year.  I am concerned and I don’t know what to say in words so I will try to describe what I feel in my heart. I know deep inside that you are a very strong and determined lady, a positive, cheerful and wonderful human being. I can’t imagine the difficult moments you are going through because I believe that only someone who has been through these moments herself can know what it truly means. But I want you to know that I care from all my heart and that I am here for you, to support and help you get through it, in any way I can.

Now and always, you continue to be an inspiration for me. Since I’ve met you the first time until today, I considered you my mentor.
I remember like it was yesterday that we were in your office and you told me that Al was your mentor and that moment I realized that you instilled in me the same admiration and loyalty and I wished you to be my mentor. And you were indeed….

It doesn’t matter if you are fighting to get a budget approved for “MyX” or “Connex Go”, if you are brainstorming a new marketing campaign or promote a funny slogan, if you are dealing with changes or injustice or with a complicated language like Chinese, if you prepare for the Romanian Miners approaching Bucharest in late ’90s or if you move to a Slavic, picturesque country like the Czech Republic, if you face impossible deadlines or if you smile at the idea of launching “Connex Cookies”, if you create and implement new ideas, new hopes, new business ventures or if you dedicate your absolute love to your very own “Mr. Tolstoy”, to your talented, one-of-a-kind, born-in-June son, Zach or to your beloved Great Danes and other fairytale doggies or if you go through such a difficult journey like the one you are going through right now or if you support a charity dedicated to people and children with less fortunate life beginnings…. No matter what you do, you have been, you are and you will always be an inspiration to everybody who is fortunate enough to be around you. And you remain the same gracious, strong, intelligent, tenacious, determined, fierce and positive Lady I know.

This reminds me of your driver in Bucharest, his name was Dan, remember him? When he called you “Lady Karla” instead of “Ms. Karla” and you found it so funny and actually it was funny.

And how I remember our first launching Connex Fair in April 1997, where people came to see our brand and our cell-phones for the first time and we were supposed to explain all the services and the functions associated with the handsets – and in that crowd, someone stole a “Nokia Banana” from my table and I was livid, I was desperate, I thought you will think I stole the phone myself and I came to you to ask your forgiveness and I  was so scared and heart-broken thinking that you will yell at me or fire me and more than anything, that you will think the worst of me and my reputation will be stained forever. And you were so sweet and understanding and you smiled and laughed with me and you told me that you knew was not my fault but just some messy circumstances.And right there, because you were so kind, gracious and lovely and because of your trust in me, I think you created your most loyal employee.

Well, if you remember me well, I speak a lot therefore I write a lot…..and I hope I didn’t bore you with all my thoughts and memories. But you are very special to me and I love you for everything you brought into my life.
Please say hello to Zach and best wishes for Al and many, many kisses for the doggies.

Speaking of Zach, I saw his video and it was so funny and nice to watch, both you and him.

Have a wonderful birthday but I will write you again until then.
Best wishes from Scott and may everything go well and I wish you only good luck and wonderful results in everything you wish to do and in everything you have to do.

All my love,
Loredana

Want to find out more about Loredana and Karla’s friendship? Find it here.

About The Author

A few months ago, I was told that my boobs are trying to kill me and being misdiagnosed for two years allowed them to recruit throughout the rest of my body by way of my spine. Before this, I knew f*ck all about cancer. Now, between sipping chemo cocktails, I want to talk about the truth of living with Stage 4 Breast Cancer with my support system and people I have met along the way to recovery.

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