I was halfway through my Sophomore year when I met Becky in early 2002. I walked into your typical college party with a friend of mine, who was on a mission to have a not-so-friendly chat with her ex-boyfriend. As we walked past one of the bedrooms, my friend went in, shoved a woman out and slammed the door in the woman’s face. The new woman turned around and looked at me. Our eyes wide with shock, we both burst into laughter and she said, “Hi. I’m Becky,” with her hand outstretched.
Becky and I hung out all night and called each other early in the morning to have breakfast together. For the next year and a half, Becky and I spent heaps of time together. We lived together for our Senior year, and after graduation, drove her car on a two-week trip from Denver to her home in Anchorage. We experienced those years together when you grow up and decide what you are going to be in life; I was in good company. She taught me not to take life too seriously, that real friends stick around no matter what, and to trust my feelings when I first met my husband-to-be.
In 2006, Becky was getting married to her best friend, Dave. I flew up to Alaska for the festivities. During the reception, Dave’s buddies were giving all kinds of toasts about what a great guy he is—and he is a great guy—but there was something missing.
My heart pounding in my chest, I stood up to collect the microphone. I said, “Becky is my best friend. She taught me what it is to be a friend. She knows just how to be there for you when need someone and knows how to make you feel like you are the most important person in the very moment that you need it. I’m so happy she has someone to do that for her now.” I had at least three people come up to me after that toast and tell me they felt the exact same way about Becky – so I know our friendship is not an anomaly.
Becky now has one son and I have two. We still live one long, expensive flight apart—or a two-week drive depending on your preferred mode of transportation. Despite that, every time we chat on the phone, we don’t miss a beat. She spends her days taking care of her little guy and working on promoting her dance company, Momentum Dance Collective.
When a friend of hers became seriously ill and needed brain surgery, not only did Becky help out with her friend’s two kids, but created an entire dance performance about the experience. It was called “…And Everything Will Be Fine.” I’ve come to believe that is Becky’s life motto. Through her company, she encourages artists of all types to express themselves and their lives through dance, film, photography, and design—and she gets the community involved in the process. It’s a job that requires her to encourage people to be strong in who they are—a role she was born to play.
When she was about to became a mom, I was trying to forewarn her about all the advice she was about to receive (irony that is not lost on me). She said, “I’m not too worried about it. If I screw them up a little, they’ll just be interesting people.” Becky takes life with a grain of salt. She takes her challenges in stride, soaks in her joys, and doesn’t expect perfection out of anyone. She loves people for exactly who they are and I think she has a little something to teach us all. Besides that, she is a wicked dancer.