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Robin Pinkley

My Moments with Shel

It is impossible to share “a single story” about Michele because she is the story. To meet her is to know her, and to know her is to love her – whether you’re her family, friend, colleague, student, mentor, cab driver, waiter, bartender, or someone she happens to pass on the street. I’ve never known anyone with a more secure sense of self or fewer boundaries. She loves life and the people in it, most especially her husband, daughters, brothers, father, family members, mentors, students, and friends.

Her boundless curiosity leads her to interview everyone she meets. It’s impossible to get through a cab ride or restaurant order without her grilling the service person about their life. She is simply incapable of not squeezing every ounce of joy out of each moment of her life. Dinner with her means tasting everything on the menu, chatting up the people at the next table, and laughing until tears roll down your face and you’re sick from laughing on a full stomach. We’ve often had lunch that lasted through dinner.

I’ve never been with Michele when she did not insist I come to her room as she changes her clothes over a bottle of wine. Why – because she has a major case of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), when the truth is missing any moment with her is a moment lost. For this reason, Michele will fly across the country for one night with her friends and often does. I don’t know anyone busier or more willing to be there for you despite this.

I could tell you SO MANY STORIES that would make you laugh out loud and likely shock you. But I won’t. These moments together are sacred. To share them would diminish their worth.

I’ve not spent one moment with Michele when I was not in awe of her intellectual curiosity, ability to hold her liquor while sharing profound ideas, generosity, loyalty, humbleness beyond all others, and cathartic ability to make me laugh through my tears. There is no one I trust or admire more. There is no one who can make me laugh harder or cry louder. There is no one I’m more honored to call my friend. There is only one Michele Gelfand, so if you’re reading this, you know exactly what I mean. I love you my Soul Sister!!

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