A girl like me meets a girl like Anne and the universe is never the same again.
Nine years ago today I landed in Hawaii for the first time in my life. I'd missed my flight the night before and my bag was lost in the process.
I drove into Kona with a complete stranger and walked into a room full of strangers who were in the middle of staff training.
I don't remember much about that day or the details.
I do remember wearing a purple plaid moo-moo, meeting a tiny girl with big blonde hair and an even bigger smile.
What I didn't know then was that she would forever change my story, one day at a time, for the rest of our lives.
Her name is Anne and she is one of the most incredible humans I know, one of the few people I can't get enough time with. As in Ever. Seriously, she tops the charts, people.
We co-led our volunteer teams for the next two+ years, and I have mourned every day since then that I'm not doing life by the side of this girl.
I write this today in remembrance, as a challenge for all of us to fight for our people. Life is a series of peaks and valleys, of testings and celebrations.
Life can be so hard.
And things like friendship and love go a long way towards making it a whole lot sweeter.
So today I reflect on my friendship with Anne and all that she has given me over the years.
She's given me grace, for all the moments I was ill-tempered, impatient, prideful or just plain wrong.
She's shared her wisdom for every tough situation I've faced in the past nine years.
She's offered me her empathy and listened to all the nuances of my daily life for years on end. (It really isn't that interesting.)
She's the first person I (we) asked to read our books partly because I know she'll tell me the hard stuff in a nice way, but mostly because she already knows every messy piece of me. What's one more thing between us, and I'd rather her tell me my work is crap than the world at large.
Thanks, Annie, for the gift of your friendship. Thanks for the hours and miles of laughter, understanding, and the tears too. Life is beautiful when it's with you-the good, the bad, and the messy too.