After we dropped you off and drove away Jeff scolded me for pointing out something that might have made you feel bad. What Jeff nor I understood at that point in time, you have never been someone who has felt sorry for yourself. You have always been someone who embraces life with curiosity, acceptance, grace and courage.
Last night as I was thinking about your birthday I tried to mentally prepare what I wanted to write in a Facebook post, but as the memories grew I knew a Facebook post would not adequately support the words that spilled from my heart. Yes, we have memories. Many of them. I could fill pages and pages with all of my favorite memories. But as I think about you, it’s not just about the memories. It’s about all the ways in which I admire and love my dear friend, Angela.
When you were finished with the army you traded your combat boots for high heels. I began a family and we drifted in and out of contact over the years. Every so often we’d pick up the phone and reconnect. It always felt like I was coming home when you and I talked, no matter how much time had passed.
And now, here you are. Not only did you build your yoga studio, but you built you built a community, a place of love, acceptance, healing. You used your strength, tenacity, creativity and courage to create a special place for so many. You are a gift who keeps on giving.
How perfect is it that your birthday falls on the most contentious election day in our history? I think it’s beautiful and the perfect juxtaposition. Our country feels divided by ugly rhetoric and negativity. Yet, all I can think about is how we get to celebrate the birthday of someone who exemplifies acceptance, patience, understanding, curiosity, courage and love. These are all the characteristics our fellow citizens will need in the coming years.
Thank you for being the friend who inspires me to be a better person. You are my sister by choice. You have and always will be my guiding light. My home.
Happy Birthday my beautiful friend.