For the month of November I’ve decided to post each day about a person or people who have influenced my life for good. There’s no way I could include each and every person in one month or even one year, and for that I hope you’ll forgive me. This year, especially, has brought an acute awareness of the kindness and generosity which surrounds me and my kids, so here’s one attempt at giving thanks.
2 – Carina
Technically, I met Carina online.
We should have met through the myriad of in-common friends we already had from a web of different life paths. But no. Instead, I asked (on my blog, as I’m sure this was before I was even on facebook or twitter) if anyone had the latest Gilmore Girls episode taped. That’s right, taped. As in, on VHS. She commented that she did, and she showed up on my door with the tape. (This is back when I was okay with meeting people online, hey-oh.)
Carina and I have been through a lot together over the past decade or so. Babies, moves, postpartum, Depeche Mode concerts. Incidentally, I’ve traveled more with her than with any other person (and I want you to think about that for just a minute). First (only) (so far, fingers crossed) time to Hawai’i? With Carina. Front and center, cheering non-stop and fielding, ‘Who is that?’ at the crazy Single Ladies dance performance at a party in a hotel in New York City that actually changed the course of my life? Carina. Protecting me from the yelling vendor from whom I refused to purchase dresses in Mexico? Carina. Laughing along with me as I rolled my eyes at those girls at Paul Oakenfold in Vegas? Carina. I could go on and on.
People have, for years, confused us with each other. Constantly and repeatedly. It’s hilarious and awesome.
She’s smart. Like, really smart. And I mention this for two reasons.
First, her husband Joe is also smart. Like, really smart. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve got a dream wishlist of teachers I want my kids to have throughout their academic careers; Joe is the high school math teacher on that team. His tutoring has saved my kid time and again (“Mom, Joe explains it better than anyone, ever. I feel like I’m good at math after I work with him.”). My favorite thing about Joe being smart, though, is how he is smart enough to love Carina’s smart. Not long ago she showed me a text message he had sent to her, which message concluded with, “I am in love with your mind.” Dude. Win.
Second, Carina is running for Provo City Council. Elections are tomorrow (Tuesday, November 3), and if you need a ride please tell me so I can take you so you can vote. She’s running against a man who, when she was a kid living in Provo, was her mayor. Provo’s been moving in a great direction for quite some time, and a lot of that has to do with innovation and creative thought. Carina’s loaded with that stuff, and she’s the best choice for that Council seat.
About a year and a half or so ago, I went to her house, likely to watch a documentary and eat something European (we’re really good at that). She casually asked how things were and I dropped all pretense and told her, frankly, that my marriage would be ending soon (though nothing had been even close to being made official at that point). She actually dropped everything to hold my hand and listen to me and reassure me. I shall never, as long as I live, forget that kind gesture. The listening and supporting, that’s Carina’s nature; the hand-holding was a small effort and a game-changer.
She is strong and brave and smart and beautiful and cultured. She is thoughtful and generous and clever. And earlier this year she posted the most wonderful Mother’s Day tribute I’ve ever received.
Thanks, Carina. I love you.