Days completed: 110
Miles to date: 304
Every single one of them in celebration of: Candy
The first time I met Candy I was fifteen or sixteen-years-old, awkward as a thirteen-year-old. She wore a gray, silk skirt with a kick pleat and had the most beautiful, open face I’d ever seen. We met outside my dorm at the boarding school I attended and, after politely shaking her hand, I walked puppy-like behind her, staring at her perfect shoes all the way to the car.
Despite her name, Candy was neither an erotic dancer nor air hostess. She was the mother of a girl I’d become friends with at school, come to take us out to lunch in town.
Meeting Candy somehow made me feel the same way I felt when meeting a cute boy: My personality simply seemed to evaporate. I was embarrassed of whatever I was wearing at the time (likely with good reason) and had an overwhelming urge to become her favorite, over any of her three daughters. Or preferably, become her.
I don’t remember much after those first few moments. Lunch was, no doubt, filled with incessant babble on my part, trying too hard to seem effortlessly charming. But my first true friendship with an adult began to take shape that day, as did my first inkling of how I wanted to be perceived as a woman.
Twenty-three years later, Candy has given me some of my most precious life moments, both directly and inadvertently. My first taste of Dom Perignon. My first copy of Madame Bovary. An actual fondness for the nickname, “Urine.” A knit cap handmade for my daughter, after my own mother had just passed away. Infinite moments of laughter at her home in Charleston, and on the lake and river. And a best friend in the form of her sister, Charlotte, whose presence in my life has completed the family of my own creation.
But the most precious gift Candy has given me is that of my friendship with her daughter, Angela. It is something I hold more dear than nearly anything else, a meaning I could never duplicate or do without.
So to Candy I dedicate every run and laugh and cheers and story and adventure, from here on out. Because life is amazing. And your life has made so much of the amazing in mine come to be.
Love you always,