Brady Mitchell Kent (right) supporting Danielle Madsen (left) as she prepares for audition. Photo courtesy of Danielle Madsen
Love, San Marcos, and Brady
Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. As people are rushing to grab the perfect stuffed bear or chocolate treat for their sweetheart, I can’t help but stop and think that San Marcos has filled my life with so much love. As a red cheeked, big dreamer teenager, San Marcos became home at the age of 16 when I had the amazing opportunity to attend boarding school at San Marcos Academy.
My life became a cross between a non-stop slumber party and a coming of age, character building experience, which eventually led me to a pack of girls who became my best and dearest friends. Living together in the Texas Hill Country day in and day out created a unique and powerful bond between us, irrespective of distance or time.
One of my best friends in our sisterhood posse, Brady, stands out for her warmth, loving kindness, and integrity. Brady was the connector of the group, the glue that helped tie us together. Her friendly smile and welcoming presence drew people in and made them feel comfortable. Brady was always ready with a listening ear. She was the type of girl you could have a deep conversation with, and then a few minutes later break into a fit of laughter over an inside joke.
Another quality about Brady was she loved Valentine’s Day. She also loved sparkly shoes, worship music, cherry candy, Valentino’s Pizza (Please San Marcos bring it back!), quality time, teaching kids, and good conversation.
Over the years, our gaggle of boarding school girls stayed in touch through college visits, road trips, vacation fun, and phone calls, helped along of course by our linchpin southern belle: Brady. She supported each of us in different ways through our phases of “adulting” and changing seasons. Brady always encouraged my goals and dreams in particular, even going with me to an audition for a reality television show that I was dying to get on.
Recently, it became time for our boarding school group to support Brady as she entered a season that we have yet to experience: going to heaven. We were able to pray over her, sing worship songs, and express our words of love. This weekend we are giving Brady what we believe she would have truly wanted for her celebration of life: a Valentine’s Day Party.
You see, Valentine’s Day is not just about romance. There are many types of love including friendship and sisterhood. As hard as it is to see this day, there is joy for our group because of 2 Reasons: 1) We know Brady had confidence in Jesus and we will see her again in heaven - the ultimate boarding school with no bed time nor clean room checks.
2) We made tons of quality time for one another over the years. This included a special ranch get together less than a year ago where we spent hours talking, laughing, eating, and sharing.
***Brady was highly intentional about making quality time for her friends.***
This Valentine’s Day weekend, if I were to extend one word of encouragement to readers in San Marcos and worldwide, it would be this: make quality time for the people you love.
Do not miss out on special opportunities to spend quality time with family and close friends. True, there can be busy seasons of life including children, elder care, and work responsibilities. However, the taste in your mouth will be bitter beyond comprehension if you ignore special quality time opportunities with friends and something were to happen.
This Valentine’s Day, pull a Brady….show love to all loved ones, including friends.