I met Melissa, this red-lipped, beautifully inked, raven-haired woman less than 6 months ago. One day, nearly two months ago she confessed her love to me for Banksy’s balloon girl. She said she was dying to recreate it in a photograph for someone special to her, but wanted a snowy-filled backdrop. She wanted that vibrant red heart balloon to pop off a clean white setting.
My husband and I recently participated in an Atlas Obscura event to get a peek inside the Wonder View Tower in Genoa, Colorado. I'd actually never heard of this place before a friend sent me a link for the AO tour event only days prior to the meet-up. Needless to say, I was hooked and immediately bought tickets.
The trip was of course, wonderful, until the last 30 minutes of the drive home when Serenica's engine began stalling on us whenever we'd drop beneath a certain speed (hoping it's a minor fix!). Fortunately, after stalling out on several occasions and getting it restarted again, she died right inside our RV storage lot gate and wouldn't turn over.
Recently. a good friend of mine confessed to me that she was swimming in negative and unproductive thoughts. As is true with all of us, these moments in time can come and go, but when they come, they can sometimes linger, creating an unforgiving and deceptive barrier between ourselves and the world, almost even distorting our perceptions of the world, and our place within it.
Do you ever have one of those moments, or events, that are so amazingly ridiculous that you just know it'll be something you never truly forget? Like, in the midst of it happening you can already appreciate its value, or memorability, in hindsight?
Dear Samantha— Thank you for your passion, your grace, your confidence, your boldness, your femininity, your sense of humor, your courage and fearlessness, your dedication, and the blinding beauty radiating from you. I edited one photo for every pound you lost (and have posted my favorites here)! I hope you feel as beautiful as you look in these photos.
Have I ever told you that my grandmother was a bird and wildlife rehabilitator? That she eventually became known as the "bird lady" in Las Cruces? Have I ever told you that my grandfather joined NASA at the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston in 1962, then in 1963 transferred to the White Sands Test Facility near Las Cruces, known then as the "Apollo Site?" That he served first as Chief of the Test Operations Branch, then as Chief of the Propulsion Test Office, where he oversaw the development and qualification testing of the rocket propulsion systems used on the Apollo Service Module and Lunar Module, leading to mankind's first steps on the Moon in 1969?
I think every woman has a dear friend who can't appreciate her own beauty. In fact, I think nearly every woman is a woman who can't appreciate her own beauty. How many women do you personally know like that? Even more important, how long have you been looking in the mirror and cursing what you see?
I could never forget this moment and I don't need this picture. I could never forget what coming home each day to this man felt like, how we could occupy such a small space and fill it with such passion; tears and rest and laughter and food, and deaths and rebirths, and smoking and drinking, and pasts and presents and futures all commingling in space and time, and friends and sex: loud and unapologetic, and love, oh my God, love.
Why are each journey's impending ends so difficult to conquer?When you feel close enough to see it, but still too far to claim it?
As if reaching and grasping at a too-distant destination is an agony worse than seeing nothing at all,
nothing to tease or torment, just stumbling around in the dark and hoping for good news.
I'm so tired. I know you are too.
I'm so ready. I know you are too.
I’ve been telling you how beautiful you are since we were little girls, but maybe a little too quietly or without enough faith. I never lost it in you. Maybe you didn’t believe me. Maybe you couldn’t. Maybe even you didn’t know how.
I’m not sure I’ll ever forgive the 15 years of time that existed between knowing you and loving you; but maybe it’s hollow lamenting not-knowings, past lives you were only a part of in obscure ways, or distances we utilized as justifications to exist separately in the universe. It feels wrong indulging such a twinge in my heart over something that finally submerged me in much needed hope, happiness, love, and fruition, because I’m anything but ungrateful.
You're like a walking sun, but maybe it's not a big deal. Maybe it's not a big deal that you take care of me in ways foreign to me, that I can physically feel your love for me emanating from every pore of your body, that it's you and me against the world.
l think about you on these roads to nothingness, I think about my pain or regret or guilt that have become dead-end branches off my heart forever reminding the blood running through me that I could have been better, that I fucked up, that some things are never undone and never forgiven and never forgotten. Have you forgiven me? Have you eulogized the branches of your own heart? Or are you still struggling to live in harmony with the hurt?
How often do you do something that absolutely terrifies you? I've done 2 such things in the last week. I believed in myself enough to go after something I never would have throughout past versions of me, something that scared me but something I knew with every beating fiber of my heart that I could do and was more than qualified to do. I'm much more confident now, more comfortable with who I am and what I'm capable of, more ready for challenges and opportunities to lead.