You bring a fanfare of trumpets and confetti into my life every time I see you.
Your special brand of energy and spark are a rare thing in the human race. You are constantly brimming with ideas and stories, constantly on the hunt for adventure and the hidden treasures the world has to offer you. I have discovered so many wonderful things along our road together as friends, and I am so blessed to have met you all those years ago.
I was working at Tribune Media when we met. I had just gotten tight with our mutual friend, Meredith, when she told me I just had to meet her friend who worked in a different department. I remember chatting in the cafeteria downstairs, chewing on something sweet from the vending machine and being just slightly too loud for an indoor space.
We were fast friends, and it's no wonder.
We quickly found common ground, and I just fell head over heels for your enthusiasm, which matched my own (again, a rare thing in other humans.) We spent many nights hanging out around town - in Queensbury, South Glens Falls, Saratoga. We explored our towns together, and then began branching out. The mountains, the rivers, the hills, north, south and west in New York, and east into Massachusetts. We visited animals and plants, bird sanctuaries, gardens, museums, remote rural temples, shops and cafès, friends and family and strangers who became our friends. We struck a balance between frenetic activity, driving and walking and climbing, and then alternately laying around, sipping wine and playing games and watching movies.
I felt welcomed into your world, and it was such a beautiful one.
I was honored to attend your and Alan's wedding, a union I believed so deeply in from the moment I spent time with the two of you. You were so perfect for each other, so attuned to each other's needs, so supportive, so loving. Even when you disagreed, your cacophony was harmonic. Your sparks are color coordinated. You make music together. You are a work of art in two pieces.
We made sweet memories that day at your wedding and at every gathering I was a part of from then, on. I met your friends. My circle in upstate New York went from few to many. I felt accepted and loved and like I had found my tribe. We could be loud together and laugh together and hug far too many times for one night. You guys were my new home.
Not long into our friendship, I made the move to Philadelphia, and you and Alan to Binghamton and then Middletown. The good news was, we both still loved adventure, so trips to see each other became a regular thing. Not often enough of course, but a much anticipated treat every few months or so. I never felt too far from you, thanks to the magic of Facebook, and eventually, I learned something exciting. You and Alan were expecting! I was immediately thrilled for you. I knew you had been waiting for this, and now it was happening.
I was so happy to be able to join you this year at your baby shower for little Hudson. How wonderful it was to see you in all of your mommy-to-be glory, catching up with you and our friends, in and amongst the baby sock trees, sipping mimosas and playing games. You and Kim were so sweet that day, with your matching bellies. It was true - we are all growing up.
Now, you've got your tiny human - the handsomest, sweetest little guy - and you're a mom. Alan's a dad. You guys are doing it, and Hudson is thriving. And boy, I can't wait to meet him. Seeing you two with him brought me joy, brought tears to my eyes, made me see visions of the future when he's 2 years old, getting into everything and seeing the world with giant eyes; 6 years old, learning and growing and soaking up everything mom and dad know about the world; 12 years old, becoming a teenager and gaining independence and getting to take his own adventures.
I am so proud to know you, Kelly, from the wild hearted girl I met so many years ago to the loving mama you are this very day. You will forever be in my heart, my dear friend. I wish you the most wonderful things this year with your new little man, and for all of the years to come. Forever and always.