Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Day 16: Mel

Ah, Day 16 is devoted to sweet Mel.  Mel and I met when I went back to school to finish my bachelor's degree at WOU.  She is an effervescent, bubbly personality - loving and fun.  We hung out together at lunch many times and I was attracted to her energy.  The day after the last day of the term, Roby went into the hospital and I took a leave of absence for a term.  As it was only the second term, I missed some major bonding with the group.  One term was not enough to solidify relationships with most of the people there.  

I was fairly consumed by my grief and loss, so I didn't really worry too much about what those folks thought or if they missed me.  One day, about a month later, Mel called me on the phone to tell me that she was thinking of me and hoped I was doing well.  There was no pressure to come back or explain anything to her.  Just a sincere call from a friend.  She etched a special place in my heart that day.

I went back to school and went through all the stages of grief - classic, really.  Mel was always there with a smile and encouragement.  She checked in on me when I was in my "anger" phase - someday, maybe I will tell that story here, too.  And she always had a ready laugh or a shoulder.

The following year, I started hanging out with many of the same people she was friends with and we sort of solidified our friendship in the group.  We went to a lot of parties together, drank a lot at those parties, told some great stories and LAUGHED!!  But all that aside, she always rememebered to ask me how things were going or how I was doing.

Years later, we had both gone on to freelance interpreting, moving around in our separate world, but she still maintained connections.  I was never good at that - I had always moved away - far away - from everyone and there is a point where hanging on to friendships just seems like desperation, so I am not as diligent with my friends as I should be sometimes.   I am working on it...  She invited me to her beautiful wedding, she invited me to her home for parties and dinners and games.  She even introduced me to the company where I work.  Sometimes, I curse that, but more often than not, I am grateful.

Whatever happens, Mel has a heart of gold and I know that we are truly friends.  She even invited me to see "Twilight" with her peeps when I hadn't even read the books...I thought I could finish the first one before I saw it, but I failed (I'm still working on that, too).

So, Mel- thank you for your heart and your laughter.  You are good to me and I know it.  I thank you for being a true friend - through good times and not so good times.  I appreciate you.  

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