It’s spring break this week and I’m sitting in a coffee shop in Buena Vista letting my electronics charge up before I hit the road again. My heart is heavy with sadness for a friend I have known since college who has just lost her Dad. I’ve seen her wrestle with her Dad’s health since college and it is hard to imagine having to live through that experience. But she has lived and she has lived to the fullest, with grace, positivity and love, qualities that I think she probably inherited from her amazing father.
I had the pleasure of knowing him through college, being in her wedding, and into adulthood. The interaction I saw the two of them have at her wedding was for me the ultimate display of who he was as a person. It was bursting with love and affection, there was an unspoken connection, and a deep appreciation for the moment. Every time I was around him, I felt this outpouring of love that felt undeserved because I didn’t even know him that well. He had this amazing ability to connect like that with every person that he met.
I think the world needs more people like this. Connection is something that I think we long for as human beings, even stubbornly independent people like myself. It is the thing that helps us feel like we are a part of something bigger than ourselves and the thing that brings the alive feeling to life. People like my friend’s Dad help to create that feeling. That is the feeling I hope to inspire with the Iron Belles. I can only hope that I will one day inspire others as he did.
I am about to depart for Crested Butte, for the next part of my adventure this week. This is a solo journey, but I want to make it a goal to make meaningful connections along the way. Sometimes I forget how important that is to do when I am somewhere on my own. Mike Fezzey, Jesse’s Dad, was brilliant at this. So this trip is dedicated to sharing joy and love with everyone I meet like he did and cherishing every single moment with deep appreciation.