Four days ago it was Pam. Today it’s Marisha. What a cool coincidence– two individuals whom I admire and respect greatly blowing out their candles within the same week in the same city. Happy birthday, Marisha!
One of the things I admire most about Marisha is her straightforward personality. And no, that’s not a euphemism for abrasive, she’s one of the sweetest people you’ll ever meet. She’s blunt, matter-of-fact, and tells it like it is– which is immensely refreshing. Too few people have mastered the art of being real and even fewer understand that being real does not give you license to be a heinous jerkwad in the name of honesty.
Respect. That’s what I most associate with Marisha. I cried tears of joy only twice out west, one of those being when I found out we were going home. The first instance was when Marisha asked me to babysit her children. To this day I don’t think she’ll ever fully understand how much that meant to me. It was the first glimmer of hope I experienced during our horrific ordeal. Do you know what it feels like when the county tells you that you are such a despicable human being you’re not even allowed to see your own child without supervision? I can barely even think back to that time because of how painful it is. I’m tearing up now as I write this. Knowing that when I was at my absolute lowest, Marisha welcomed me into her home and entrusted her most precious resource– her two sons– to me….there are no words. I’ll always cherish the times I spent with W and S. Those are some of the only memories I have of normalcy, of family and love.
Furthering the theme of respect, I have tons of it for her. As if being widowed isn’t tragic enough– after her husband passed she suddenly found herself raising two rambunctious boys as a single mom. She’s a fantastic mother and fiercely protective of her boys. And I’ll never forget something she said to me on a text message: “do you have no self-respect?” Without knowing the context that might sound mean or insulting. It wasn’t. She was one of the few individuals bold enough to challenge a poor decision I made– and the only person who made the connection between making choices and the reflection of respect I have for myself.
I believe my friendship with Marisha has improved since I left California. We shared a bonding experience when we collaborated on my new line of perfume [it smells eerily similar to Calvin Klein’s Obsession]….but more than that she gained an understanding of who I really am and saw me thrive in my natural environment. I know she caught glimpses of it in Atascadero, yet nobody there really knew me in my entirety. I think it’s safe to say she’s now in the ranks of friends who know me.
Marisha, thank you for being you and thank you for being my friend. It’s so awesome having a Words With Friends buddy and it will be even more awesome when you are closer to me after your move. I’m so excited about being your family’s personal travel consultant this summer and cannot wait to show y’all the wonderful city of Memphis! 😉
With infinite love, gratitude, and respect,