I met Mel a few years ago. She works with Daniel. She and I took to each other pretty quickly. We both share a love for music - especially those singer/song writer...indie types. She's got a bigger collection of CD's than me - and I think that's awesome because I buy CD's at a ridiculous pace. We've driven to L.A together a couple times. She's watched Bailey for us when we've left town and she was one of those friends who had a key to our house in case of emergencies. Our dogs love her even though she's really allergic to them. Mel co-signed for us so we could rent our house (since my credit was awful) and helped us move in. She's an amazing photographer and I am extremely proud to say that two of her photos are framed and hanging in our home - the home we would not get to live in had she not helped us out. She came and hung out with me when I was seriously sick and Daniel was busy with "Play it Again, Sam" at BCT - and she brought Daniel flowers to that show when I was too sick to see him perform and give them to him myself. Mel encouraged our theatre ventures by being at every show we were in and we loved that she enjoyed going to the Empty Space, Spotlight and BCT (and Woody's after) with us.
We had a key to her house too. We checked her mail for her when she was in New Zealand. We watched Bush get elected as President (again) at her house. We watched two Academy Awards shows in her living room - Daniel and I won the prizes. I helped her do some minor redecorating and talked her into a cool ceramic vase from Pier One. She stayed with us after she had some oral surgery and we took care of her while she was all drugged up. We enjoyed movies at the Fox at her urging and we loaned each other our DVD's and books. We drooled over each others new cameras and encouraged one another's photography.
Back in December 2004, I asked Mel to be one of our bridesmaids (I say "our", because we felt like our friends were standing up for both of us). It was fairly early in our friendship but even then I knew she was a friend who I wanted to stand up for us. She was a "keeper". I immediately recognized her as someone who I knew was a "kindred spirit". Mel is one of those friends where it doesn't matter how far away she is - she's still very much a part of our lives. She stood up for us on one of our most important days and I turn to her when I need someone to talk to - be it about my hopes, stresses, medical crap, etc.
It took FOREVA for the company to pinpoint when Mel was going to get to go to Houston. For a while there, I thought it was some sick joke they were playing on her and us. I started to believe that Mel was never going to move away. When they finally did give her a moving date, it seemed like everything moved in fast forward until we said goodbye yesterday afternoon. But I don't really look at it as goodbye...more as "See you later". Who knows if or when Daniel and I will end up in Houston, but in the mean time Mel and I have each others blogs to read, email, phones, and of course, text messaging.
That said, I did feel sad to see such a good friend drive away yesterday. For whatever the reason, Daniel and I don't have very many close friends here in Bakersfield (most of them are in Texas and L.A). We only have a few local friends that we can call on a whim and really be ourselves with. Only a few people here know us really well and we've had to work really hard to get to that point. I'd say we must be unapproachable or not friendly enough, but I know that's not true. Maybe we're just both too shy...or something. Bah. All I know is making friends just isn't as easy as it was in high school. And it's a shame that Mel won't be here anymore. I miss her tons already.
P.S. - I stole the photo of me and Mel together from her flickr page. She's got an "all rights reserved" on it and I couldn't get the html until I downloaded it and then sent it to my flickr...but I figured she'd forgive me since it's such a good pic of us and I really felt the need to have it included with this post. If it disappears, you know why.