In the very first weeks of seminary, this woman walked up to me and asked if I would go to dinner with her. She said that she had met others from Oregon and they were cool and she thought we might be friends. We went to Lucky Platter and hit it off right away. From that moment on we were nearby each other for the next three years. In fact, in the last year of seminary we were flatmates and she would become who I call my sister. This is April. April is fierce and loyal to her people. She can see things in people that we others see after an amount of time. She knows herself well and is the best friend I could ever have imagined. She is one of the few people I will call under every circumstance. She knows me in and out and I hope she feels like I know her even a fraction that makes a difference.
April has been a musician all of her life and part of that time she was a professional musician but after a time she realized that God had another call for her. She comes from the south but ended up in Chicago like me for this crazy call. She is a natural born leader and an amazing community organizer. She was a professional community organizer for a bit too. And she was amazing at it (like anything she puts her mind to).
April met Vince in seminary and in a weird way I helped get them together…a story for another day and I am close to Vince as well. He is family to me. He was our unofficial other roommate and I couldn’t have been luckier for our third. I was honored to be in their wedding and then April and Vince decided to start a family. April has always said she was a much better mom before becoming a mom but she is a fantastic mom. They have two boys, Julian and Zemery. I get to be Tia to the boys and Godmom to Zem. Although I would do anything for either of them and hope there is a day when they want to escape their parents and come hang with me for a bit. April and Vince allow their kids to explore the world, explore their feelings, and connect to the world in amazing ways.
After seminary, April and Vince both worked for the seminary but the tug back to the South was strong and they wanted that for their kids so they moved to Georgia fairly recently but still have pieces of Chicago in their hearts.
April presided at my wedding. And she picked up the pieces of me when that marriage fell apart. She called me each morning to make sure I was getting out of bed for the first few months. When I booked the Camino the first time I made sure to fly in and out of Chicago as a buffer each way. When I freaked out on the way to the Camino, I will never forget her words, “Just get to me.” They are words that continue to ring true in my heart. Whenever the worst days come I hear her voice…just get to me or even in the best times…just get to me. Often I do. She is the first person I tend to call.
Although I miss our nights up and singing to her playing guitar and I miss our dance parties and cooking sessions, our late into the night deep talks and our tearful moments, I know they will always be there. This is the person who introduced me to spice in so many parts of life, how to host a good party, how to make decisions that I want and mean, and how to hold a big open heart through the world even when it can sting.
There is soooo much more I could say about this amazing person over 17 years of sistershood but I think you get just a glimpse. You want to know this person…you do. And when you meet her, give her a great big hug from me.