We met playing softball against each other in college. She was an all-American catcher for the Bethel Pilots, and I was the goofy, left-handed second baseman for the Indiana Wesleyan Wildcats. We were conference rivals and competed against each other for four years. My second year in college I noticed that there were a core group of Bethel softballers who were always having way more fun than anyone else and , true to form, I wanted to know them. And that is where it started.
Both Megan and I graduated with teaching degrees, she moved to South Bend, Indiana to teach Special Education and I moved to North Carolina to teach eighth grade science. Midway through my first year of teaching, she called me up and asked if I wanted to take a road trip to Montana during summer break. I couldn't think of anything more fun, and so our annual backpacking trips began with a whirlwind trip out west.
We learned a lot about each other on that trip, marveled at sights every American should see (Yellowstone National Park, the Grand Tetons, the Black Hills), and at trips end realized we had never actually made it to Montana.
Four years later, Megan and I walked the 2,174.6 miles of the Appalachian Trail. We started it together, we finished it together. Believe me, she has seen the worst of me, not to mention smelled me at my worst. She has witnessed me cry and rage and pout and whine. And through it all she was right there, never far.
And so this weekend I found myself in Lake Tahoe, California at Megan's wedding. Celebrating life, her life, what it is and what it will be. I adore her husband, Chad, and am looking forward to sharing life with them.
Megan and her father head down the aisle Friday, July 25.
Some memories of Megan:
- hearing her belches from the visitors dugout when she was warming up a pitcher in the bull pen
- helping her move her stuff out of a flea infested basement apartment
- horseback riding on the postman's horse in Andover, ME
- oozing, infected, silver dollar size blisters and the numerous emergency room trips
- hitch hiking halfway across the country to get home for her mom's birthday
- sharing a cigar and champagne at the top of Mt. Katahdin, the last stop on the Appalachian Trail
My life would be very different if Megan and I weren't friends. I hate to think about it. So here's to friends who have seen you at your worst!