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It is still winter. I don’t care what the calendar says or how many days into spring we have technically traveled. When it snows, that means winter. And this winter has been oddly reminiscent of all those years I spent in Wisco or the Twin Cities: cloudy, grey, with a huge side of goddamn snow.
But this weekend Southwest Airlines delivered the SUN in an energetic bundle of red hair, laughter, and hugs.
I was having a moment straight out of the movie Love Actually. Watching people at the SLC airport. I laughed out loud at the little girl who snuck up behind her grandma and surprised her. And might have gotten a tear when an Army boy hugged his mom with closed eyes and a love so fierce you could see it in the way they held each other. I was caught up in the stories all around me, that I almost didn’t notice the red head walking my way. But there she was, my Mel.
Have to say before she came out to visit I didn’t know what to expect. I mean she knew me before… back when I was a youth leader, when I was the epitome of Christian, before tattoos and nose rings, when I was an emotional wreck because of my family. I knew we would have fun. But I wondered if she would be disappointed in the person I’d become. Could we really fill 4 days together?
It was love at first sight again. (She would totally laugh at me saying that). As soon as I saw my spunky friend, I just knew we were in for an adventure and it was going to be a blast. What I didn’t know is that I was about to have one of the best times of my life.
We made the most fantastic scene in the airport. I’m pretty sure we hugged each other like 5 times, and squealed, letting out all the little girl-ness in our hearts. 5 minutes in we were laughing so hard and so loud that Mel looked around and sarcastically told everyone to stop being so loud. I almost pee’d my pants dying of laughter.
And then there were four days of laughter, wine, good food (thanks boys), movies, hikes, shopping, getting mani’s, hockey, laughter, and talking. Laughing and talking were my favorite. There was just so much to say, so much to share, so much to hear. Years rolled away and we were just two girls, enjoying a moment in time. Like Anne and Diana in Green Gables, kindred spirits. It was amazing for two girls, who panic and worry about so much in life, we were able to stay in and enjoy the moment. Something we both strive for… not sitting in the past or getting caught up in the future. Just staying in the moment.
It really felt like I had taken a vacation to Hawaii and just soaked up the sun on the beach. Like I went to some amazing spa and found all my tension erased. Like I sat with a funnier version of the Dali Lama, and my soul was spoken too. I had forgotten what tonic for the soul a good friend can be, and I so needed that.
Mel is magic, and she doesn’t even know it.
I didn’t want Mel to leave. Just being around us, she made me better. A true, real friend. A friendship, always cherished, but now one so deep that I know we will be old ladies laughing about all the adventures we had together, and probably planning our next ones.
Thanks Mel, for bringing us so much love, joy and warmth this weekend. We love you!