I was sitting in Chapel with the kids on Friday, and I heard something that stuck with me. “It feels good to feel blessed.” Earlier on in the day all I kept thinking was how I had some unexplained feeling of euphoria all day. I felt good. I felt like things were falling into place. I felt loved by all of the amazing people in my life. I felt happy.
Happiness is not something I’d expected to feel at this point. I’ve gone through some unexpected life changes. (see Wanderlust) They’ve left me questioning quite a few things. One thing I have yet to question a single time is how amazing my friends and family are. I’ve written this several times already. I just don’t think I’ll ever voice how grateful and fortunate I truly am. This version is about the closest I’ve come.
Mom and Rick (some parts are only applicable to my mom)- thank you so much for helping, loving, and supporting me unconditionally. The phone calls, snapchats, random care packages, etc. have kept me going. Thank you for passing absolutely no judgement, and being such a great gal pal. It’s been great to have someone that’s known me all 25+ years of my life to talk through this all.
On the note of knowing me through the entirety of my time walking the Earth or in utero, I’m brought to my brother, Clint.
Clint- you get me, better than anyone else. We’re crazy, loving, and so often misunderstood or forced to stifle our personalities. I can tell you anything. I can tell you how I’m feeling at any moment and without a doubt in my mind, I know you’ve felt the exact same thing. Thank you for the random, yet so perfectly timed text messages. Thank you for always talking to me the way you do. You without fail, have always made me smile since the day I was born. “BIG PIMPIN. We back, baby!” I love you to pieces. Thank you so much for all you do. ❤
On the note of getting me, I have some incredible ladies that I’ve got to bring up. So in no particular order, here we go.
Ashely- you’re the only one who understands me going through this while being at school and cringing every time I hear, “Mrs. S.” Thank you for not only being there each and every school day, but for being my best friend outside of school. Thank you for helping me move, redecorate, and for coming over all the time. For the countless snapchat conversations about things only you or I could ever talk about in the way that we do. Thank you for the laughs, the love, the adventures, the memories made, and the ones still to come. Just thank you. I love you so so so so much.
Linds- girl I don’t even know where to begin. You’re my everything—my best friend, soulmate, twin while also being a baby sister, while also taking care of me the way a big sister would, you’re the love of my life. I honestly don’t think there are words in the English language to accurately describe our relationship and its astonishing vibes. We say we’re twins because we’re always thinking identical things. The fact that you have understood and been there couldn’t mean more. From the bottom of my heart—thank you. Thank you for probably running red lights and speeding (which you totally shouldn’t have done, young lady!) to get to my house in twenty minutes, only to find me sitting on my couch…listening to my vow renewal song, looking at the pictures and touching the sand from the beach where the ceremony was held. Thank you for putting together furniture with me at 3am and making numerous Walmart trips. Thank you for having a standing Tuesday date and for randomly eating tacos on the floor. I love you to the moon and back. Twice. D.P.’s in recliners girl. D.P.’s in recliners.
Alyssa- girl where do I even start? Thank you so much for being an extremely hard-working, coachable athlete, an incredibly fun teammate, and an even better friend. Thank you for my so thoughtfully purchased bottle of Maker’s Mark. Thank you so much for the Girls’ Night(s) Out of my life, and the amazing girl talk about alla dat coffee! Thank you for always checking on me. Being at the gym with you is amazing. You’ve got great taste in music, and in superhero attire! 😉 I love you girl. I truly value you on so many levels.
Catherine- thank you for meeting me on $5 burger night, for the most creative ICE gift, lifting sessions, brunches, afternoon meals/beers/whiskey shots on patios, and just all of it and all of you. You’re a freakin boss. Love you, you strong strong lady.
The gym has been such an amazing place for me. I’ve been so lucky with all the friends/loved ones I’ve had the pleasure of meeting, and being around.
Brandon- thank you for checking on me, sending me hilarious memes, making jokes, and coming over only to help me run errands all day and keep me company. You’re a large part of my life, and I love you so dearly. I know you don’t care for when I get mushy! It still needed to be said. You’ve been not only a wonderful and cooperative athlete, but a true friend. You are the definition of a “stand-up guy” and I’m not only proud to coach you, but honored to know you.
Randy (and Penny and Hazel)- thank you for checking in on me, talking me through the ins and outs of being single in my mid-twenties here in the City of Oaks, listening endlessly, and sending me the most amazing and fitting memes and prose. Thank you for my favorite housewarming gift that I’ve ever received. Thank you for abandoning your Easter plans to come day-drink with me. You’ve been better to me than I could’ve ever hoped or dreamt. The “dad hugs” have helped a lot, as has you understanding when I randomly suck in training or getting just as hype when I PR my vertical. Must’ve been that morning coffee.
Dad and Tracey- I’ve started this numerous ways…here’s what I thought was best. Thank you for the comic relief, and constantly reminding me who I am and just what our name means—basement. We Kellers start at or often are knocked to the bottom. As any other strong breed, though, we fight until we find ourselves at the top. Like the relationship you taught me to have with inclement weather when I was learning how to drive in a Cleveland winter (read: 6-8 months out of the year in Cleveland), Kellers do not fear hardship, we respect it. It makes us better, and so while we don’t hope for it, we welcome it. Thank you for constantly showing and telling me that. The consistent texts and facetimes reminding me that I’m a strong and powerful woman have helped so much. I am beginning to show it, and believe it.
I love you both.
Mrs. Hamilton- Thank you for all the talks and advice. You have been such an incredible example to me. You reminded me that there is no reason not to handle this with beauty and grace. God is good, and He does not make mistakes. Remembering that has made all the difference. You’ve been like a mom to me and I appreciate it in a big way.
Robbie and Kim (and Charlie & ‘the group’)- Thank you for forcing me to go out so I wouldn’t be home alone with my thoughts and sorrow. Thank you for adorable snapchats, kind words, check-ins, advice (even if I may have been a bit non-receptive), and just love in general. Y’all are wonderful and I am so happy to have you in my life.
Alex- I always thought you were just the d-bag I argued with about sports, and smash in cricket. Those things alone, have helped distract me. There is so much more, though. Thank you for picking me up and putting me back together. Thank you for reminding me that beauty is subjective, but something quantifiable like intelligence is cherished, and yet often overlooked. Thank you for always demonstrating that you not only don’t overlook my mind, but even appreciate it. Thank you for reading every single thing I write, for helping me prepare for my talks at schools, and for getting a pump with me before polaroids. Thank you for being an awesome partner in crime on those nights, for celebrating with me when my appetite came back (read: looking away while I slam a taco before watching the draft), and for being hilarious and supportive as hell.
You’ve been an amazing friend through all of this. The long talks, walks, and umpteen ounces of bourbon have been the very things I look forward to come Saturday night. You’re always on my page, from when you’re hungry or want to head out on the town, to your taste in music (for the most part…), to your love of sports. I didn’t imagine the guy I’m constantly talking smack to during baseball and basketball seasons would turn out to be someone so kind and selfless. I don’t think I’ll ever truly be able to describe the magnitude that you’ve helped me, nor will I be able to put my gratitude in words. So I’ll stop at this—thank you for the incessant amounts of “babysitting shifts” and coffees. You’re a douche, whose antics and company, I don’t think I could’ve made it without.
Thinking and reflecting on these people has had me feeling overwhelmed with love. This isn’t even everyone in my life. This is [more or less] my “Raleigh family”. These are the people that have shown me that blood or not, family is family. You show up for one another. It has been indescribable, the amount of ‘showing up’ that they have done for me. I don’t think I can ever explain the feeling I began describing at the beginning. It’s just this warmth and happiness that takes over your whole body. You could feel like absolute garbage, and yet still be so unbelievably happy because you know. You know that you have a support system that’s unmatched. You can feel the compassion all around you.
They say if you have one real friend that you know you can count on, you’ve been blessed. I have more than that. I don’t know why or how these things in my life are happening, but they have opened my eyes to the people around me. Like Mrs. Hamilton has demonstrated, God does not make mistakes. For the first time in my adult life I actually recognize this feeling as #blessed.