I was 12 years old when I met Lisa, who was 31 at the time. An unlikely friendship for sure.
Our journey to becoming best friends is a bit long and complicated but I'll simplify it this way: Lisa was first my mentor, and then, as I became an adult, my best friend.
From the moment we met, we were, as she would say, simpatico. We instantly connected over our love of coffee (it would be about 11 more years before I had to say goodbye to coffee), writing, and talking. Even our outlook on life was similar.
Our friendship circled around coffee dates. When I was a preteen and teenager I would go to Lisa's house, we'd sit on the steps that led from her dining room to living room, and we'd drink coffee, talk for hours, and hang with her animals. It was a safe place where I could say anything.
In fact, she once said to me: "You know if you killed someone...you could tell me. Oh, and I'd help you hide the body." Hilarious, and honestly she meant it in a deeper way. Though shrouded a bit in comedy she was saying "There is nothing you can say that will scare me away. I'm here for you no matter what."
In the past 4 years, we got into the habit of having coffee at least once a month. We'd often meet at my house, sit at my dining room table, and proceed to talk for 3-4 hours. Catching up on everything we'd been up to, and truly connecting in a way that's difficult to describe. She was my person. She really was the one I could say anything to; there was no shaming or judgment in our relationship.
In the safe space that was our friendship, I thrived and came alive. Lisa was my best friend at a time when I was most impressionable. She helped me leave an abusive relationship in my teens, she always encouraged my songwriting & performing, and she was my constant companion while navigating difficult years of growth. Lisa is woven into my life and my DNA.
Lisa was also the person who taught me how to embrace adventure. In the 20 year span of our friendship, we traveled to New York City, the Mexican Riviera, Las Vegas, Nebraska, Canada, and even Sweden - where she was the Matron of Honor in my wedding.
And Sweden is where the seed of steady + flight was planted. The night before my wedding I gifted Lisa with an anchor necklace. I told her she was the thing that kept me grounded (and sane while I was planning a wedding in a foreign country) and always reminded me of my deeper purpose. I could tell I took her by surprise but I was grateful for a moment to celebrate her important role in my life.
The next day during her Matron of Honor speech she said if she was my anchor that I was her hot-air balloon: I uplifted her and kept her from becoming too cynical. I reminded her that there is good all around, you just have to look for it. In a day full of beautiful moments that one sticks out in my mind.
In September 2017 Lisa became very ill, just before her 51st birthday. Her illness progressed swiftly and she died October 24th, 2017.
In the days following I began to write a eulogy for Lisa. As I wrote the story of the anchor necklace and Lisa's matron of honor speech, these words tumbled out of me: "Together we were the perfect mix of steady and flight."
And this is the moment steady + flight was born. Weeks went by after the service, but those words kept tumbling around in my head. I knew they were meant for even more than a beautiful reflection of a lifelong friendship. I began to think they could mean something to you as well.
Because friendships like the one I had with Lisa are meant to be celebrated.
I have created, and continue to create, the products for steady + flight as a celebration of the love we have in our lives. We must be proactive in letting our friends and loved ones know their impact. Let them know how much those coffee dates mean to us. Tell them how they've uplifted or steadied us. I know it's a cliché, but tomorrow is never promised.
I don't want to wait another moment to tell you how much I love you. Even if we've never met. You are an important part of my story. You matter.
I hope steady + flight blesses your lives, because creating it has blessed mine and helped heal my broken heart.
With love & tea,