I met Jen in 2005 when by some force of fate or alignment of the stars a bunch of us in Provo started blogging and somehow connected with a few select friends of one another and formed this crazy sisterhood of the traveling pants-type friendship.
The kind that last.
At least for those willing to stay.
Jen is strong, wicked smart, clever, fierce, funny and has a heart of gold. Among many other of her talents, skills, and abilities. But what I love most is her essence. You can just feel Jen. I met her online through a friend of a friend but it was years before we met in person.
But first, part of Jen’s story is the heartbreak of infertility and the crazy mashup of the joys and heartaches of adoption.
And after the adoption long heart-wrenching years of more infertility in which one’s remaining hopes and dreams, once boldly defined in vivid color and liveliness, surely fade into soft-edged pastel stills unrealized. None of which I know firsthand, but both for which I could glimpse a feel deep in my heart on account of Jen and her beautiful honestly and brave vulnerability about this part of her life.
That’s the kind of real that dives itself deep into my heart and seals itself firmly to my essence.
One day, years later, it was with great anticipation I awaited an opportunity to meet Jen in person at last.
We were going to meet for dinner at Texas Roadhouse. It must have been the one in Lehi or somewhere, because there wasn’t one in Provo at the time.
There was line dancing.
Endless fully white rolls.
A small group of us met there and hugs, laughter, and stories ensued, flying as freely as places outside of Provo flow drinks on tap. I’m surprised there was even a moment to draw a breath. When all of a sudden someone dropped a quiet but sure,
You could have heard a pin drop as our tumbling stories and words all stopped in their tracks as we tried to digest the words.
And then we screamed.
We literally screamed in a chorus abundant with joy and disbelief and gratitude for mighty miracles. Right there in Texas Roadhouse.
Tears ran down our cheeks as we squealed, giggled, hugged and bombarded Jen with a million questions!
“How are you feeling?”
And we didn’t care who heard us. Because Jen’s prayers and dreams of a decade or so come true deserved full-volumed screams of joy and gladness and gratitude.
Our screams of joy and gladness and gratitude may not have been as loud or as public the next time.
Or the next time.
But the sentiment was there all the same.
And every time I see the faces of her kids–all her crazy beautiful remarkable sweet (and sometimes sassy) kids–in the pages of my Instagram feed the memory of them still hits me just so and I scream and scream all over again right in my heart of hearts.
[Day 194 of Ann Dee Ellis’ 8-Minute Memoir.]