As I sit here teary eyed, going through videos, photos and conversations with Nicola, I am reminded of what a wonderful person she truly was. Nicola was my role model. She was my colleague, confidante and loyal friend. To this day, I still refer to her as my sister (my work sister). We had so much fun at work together. On TV you’d see the ‘serious’ and sometimes ‘not so serious’ versions of ourselves. Nic always wanted to dance, laugh and just have a good time at work. I miss that. There are a lot of things that haven’t been the same since she left us but I think it’s important to look back at the good times, share and remember the stories. She was amazing inside and out and to this day, she reminds me of how lucky I am to have my health, my family, friends and career.
In this post, I want to reflect back on some special moments I shared with Nicola. I’m going to share some of our personal conversations and pictures. I went back through old videos and made a compilation of FUN times we had on the air at CHCH because that’s how I remember her; always smiling, laughing and having fun.
When I started out at CHCH Nicola was so helpful. She mentored me, taught me how to do the forecast, create the weather maps and be personable on camera. Instantly, we were good friends. She wasn’t threatened that I was younger. She wasn’t intimidated that I was social media savvy. Instead, we helped each other out.
The traffic centre is on the second floor of the CHCH Building, while the Weather Center (where Nicola did the forecast) was on the main floor. We were live on the air every ten minutes and between those hits I would always run down the stairs to catch up with my good friend.
Nic was the most positive person of anyone that I’ve ever met. She always told me to shine my ‘light’ on people that were in the dark. She claimed that she always felt sorry for negative and destructive people because they were obviously unhappy with themselves. She didn’t care what people thought of her. She didn’t care to look silly on the air. She DID however make a conscious effort to bring something different to the table.
I would say, “But there’s nothing going on in traffic. What am I supposed to talk about?” and she’d say… “Look up a fun fact and tell me about it on the air!”
She was always thinking outside of the box when it came to on air conversation. Nic would tell me:
“Your job isn’t just about presenting the weather and traffic… you’re an on air personality. Show off that personality! Think of something valuable and entertaining to say.”
Another tip from Nic:
“WEAR BRIGHT COLOURS.” Nicola Jones
You can see that she followed that rule in the photo above. To this day, I make a conscious effort not to gravitate to grey and black (like most people). I do my best to wear bright pink, yellow, orange and red. That’s what people want to wake up to in the morning.
“YOU ARE WORTH IT.” Nicola Jones
Whenever I asked Nicola’s opinion when I wanted to purchase something she would always give me an honest answer. Most of the time she’d say “Do it. You are worth it!” It’s not often that I treat myself to a really nice coat or buy an expensive lipstick but it’s nice to be reminded to treat yourself every once in awhile. She always encouraged me to take care of myself and to appreciate my well being. She’d say, “If you don’t take care of yourself then who will?”
I was looking back at my phone conversations with Nicola and this one really resonated with me. When she was sick she asked me about my blood type and I couldn’t even tell her what that was. I’m making it my personal goal to get my blood taken this week and find out what blood type I am.
Nic: “What’s your blood type lol?”
Jac: “I have absolutely no idea. I know that’s terrible.”
Nic: “Go and donate blood in my honor and find out one day. Enjoy your health. Do everything you can to make your body feel appreciated. I love even more my memories of being fit and strong. I will get back to it one day. Don’t waste it. You have no idea how bad it is to be stuck like this. Go play.”
Nicola was a fighter up until the day she died. It was shocking to all of us that she had gotten so sick because she was a person who truly took care of her health. She was always bringing in homemade soup for lunch and making really healthy meals. She would even use glass containers over the plastic ones to avoid the chemicals. I remember hearing her spoon clinking against her glass dishes. It’s an odd memory but sometimes when I catch myself doing it… it makes me think of her. Nic was even careful about taking the pain killers when she was in hospital. She wanted to be strong for her son Christian.
Jac: “Are you in a lot of pain?”
Nic: “Yes but I was before so I can take it. I did really well avoiding drugs. The nurse said most people go through in 4 hours the morphine I did not finish in 24.”
Nicola taught me how to mediate although I’ve never stuck with it. She told me to take the time to just sit in silence and to let the first thought come to my mind. I’m not going to lie, I thought it was kind of odd but she swore by it… so I tried it. (Actually, you can buy Nicola’s Meditation CD’s on iTunes)
“Once that thought comes into your mind, you’ll realize that you control all of your thoughts. You can choose to be positive. You can choose to control the way you think about everything.” Nicola Jones
This one year, Nicola wanted to surprise everyone with Personalized Bobble Heads! She found the company, submitted our photos and voila… they were sent to the station. We did a big reveal on the air and everyone loved them.
You know, we’re lucky that so many of the memories we shared together were caught on camera. I took some time to go back and dig up some of my favourite clips. I want people to remember Nicola as the fun, bubbly and elegant woman that she was.
Nicola will forever be a part of my life. I spent a quarter of my life sharing every morning with her on the air, I spent most afternoons chit chatting with her through text messages and many weekends planning out future projects. I miss her so very much and I know that for me, she will never be forgotten. This was a very personal post as these are memories I truly cherish. Thank you for reading and thank you for keeping Nicola’s memory alive.
I usually sign off as Jackie but today… I’m signing off by what Nicola used to call me.