June 12, 2014

by Robyn Bryant


June 12, 2014, Evening

 

Tonight, I am thinking about unlikely friendships...I actually have many friends that I would have never had if Christian had not started her very difficult race in May of 2011.  Let me first say, I would trade all these friendships, if I could have Christian back whole and healthy...but I am so thankful that during this journey some very special people have entered our lives.

 

On June 20, 2012, I received a private facebook message from a young woman named Lela Moore.  She identified herself as a Girls Preparatory School (GPS) graduate and told me of common contacts and then told me about running for Team in Training in NYC.  Her team ran the NYC Half Marathon for Christian a week before she died.  We communicated some via private facebook message about Team CMB and The Christian Bryant Foundation...but I distinctly remember the “connect” for me with her.  Our small family had gone our first trip without Christian and we were driving home...we were at about 6 or 7 weeks without Christian and the reality and true absolute loss was kicking in....I started texting Margie Bruner (my life line), but I also started texting Lela for some reason....She also experienced a major loss in her 20’s and she shared that with me.  We communicated off and on via text, email or private facebook message until October 2012 and then Bailey and I met her in the New York Times Building in NYC for a tour...the highlight for me was sitting with her with all the big editors talking about the stories all around our country and the world, we were also introduced to the group...very cool!  I think the higlight for Bailey may have been meeting one of the Beauty editors and getting some free really good products.  That afternoon we met again and Lela took us to meet her friend Greg and we all (Chris had joined us then) had a private tour of Gap Product Development...we all loved that and Greg was awesome!  Now, heres the interesting part...that night, Chris and I needed to attend a work related event and prior to meeting Lela, Bailey decided that is who she wanted to be with while we were away from the hotel.  Well, they had so much fun!!!! I just knew after earlier in the day that I trusted her with my child....they have stories to tell from that night...We saw Lela just a couple of weeks after meeting in NYC, because she came to Chattanooga to run the half marathon with Team CMB.  Her sister, Sarah and her Uncle, Charles also joined the team.  

 

Since that first meeting...she has spent the night at our former home, we always try to see her if she is visiting her family in Chattanooga.  Last year at this time, she and Bailey had a day at Sephora that she wrote about...Lela is beautiful inside and out, but I think one thing I like about her is that she understands and respects and has boundaries...I know I can ask her anything and I hope she feels the same with me....she is extremely smart, very well educated....Middlebury for undergraduate and I have drawn a blank...either NYU or Columbia for graduate school...We recently had the opportunity to sit on the Girls Preparatory School Campus and visit for a couple of hours....during that time, one employee and Alumnae, came by and said, “I love seeing you together, because I know the story.”  You know, there are people in your life for a reason!  I know Lela became part of our life for a very important reason...she is the “unlikely friend” I am focusing on today....do you have an “unlikely friend” in your life?  I would love to hear your story. - Robyn