Mad for…Shonna

There’s nothing better than catching up with old friends.

When I was a kid, softball was my game. I spent several summers playing for my local team, the “Wea Indians”, with largely the same group of girls. We had a solid catcher/pitcher sister act (the Royer girls) that were a big part of any success the team had, for sure. However, our best player was the short stop. She was strong and fierce in every way. Shonna had a phenomenal arm, and she would hurl the ball over to me at 1st base. My dad used to say, “She puts a little mustard on it, huh, Shell?” The girl was not messing around. Also? She could flat out hit the ball. We rarely felt like we were completely out of any game if Shonna still had an at bat or two remaining. Opposing coaches always flailed their arms at their outfielders when she got up to the plate. Those men were exactly right. The ladies needed to scoot their booties back, ha?!

My summer memories as a kid are full of smiles as Coach Tom Mellady was a good human and my teammates were pretty darn welcoming to the lone Catholic school girl on the squad. As I recall, we even won the Tippecanoe County tournament one year when we were about twelve years old. There was a boat load full of laughter, and I even remember Coach Mellady’s wife, Karen, dressing up in some sort of “mascot” get up as we made our tourney run. We were the Wea Indians, so I am not entirely sure why my memory is of her in like a giant frog costume, but, that’s what is stuck in my head. We had a good time. I do know that!

It’s nice when you meet up with old friends and see an old smile you’ve missed! That’s what happened to me this morning. Tom and I had been out delivering Thanksgiving baskets this morning for our parish, then we headed to Fishers to eat at one of the best breakfast spots in the area– The Roost. It was already a lovely morning. As we were getting ready to leave, there was a trio of folks standing behind us clamoring for our barstools in the overflowing restaurant. That’s when my old teammate, Shonna, approached and called out my name! She’s as authentic as she ever was. She looked better than ever and was accompanied by her super friendly husband and sweet son.

Seeing Shonna and getting a big hug and warm smile was an incredible blessing in my day. Her sunny disposition and friendliness really did fill the room, and my morning, with warmth. Although I’ve not seen her in many years, and both of us have grown and changed a lot, the fact is that our roots will always be a little tangled, and I’m pretty great with that! She’s a solid human and her handsome son is a pretty lucky kid to have such a caring, fun person as a mom!

Thanks, Shonna for the friendly greeting and beautiful smile this morning! I wish I had thought to take a little selfie with you so I could have sent it to my parents. They would have gotten a big kick out of that. However, I stole a picture of you off your Facebook page so they can see your bright face and get a glimpse of your guys too! I hope you don’t mind. Seeing you really did make my day, and I wanted to give you a shout out and express gratefulness for the genuine way you interact in the world. Real, genuine, kind people like you are treasures!! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your beautiful family.

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