Sisterhood of the Traveling Keys

So a pretty amazing thing happened today. Yes, I landed in Miami and checked in to one of my favorite hotels on the planet, The Standard. But something else happened too.

i had lunch with my former colleague Stephanie Granada. We worked together at Southern Living for a good bit, and she was an absolute delight.

As we talked over stories of what had happened in the year since we had last visited -- life transitions and changes -- I realized that the gift I got for myself for my 40th birthday had found a home. The Giving Keys aren't meant to be kept, but passed on. This one is inscribed "Effatha," which means "to be opened."

Here is the full story of this key and how the word was put on my heart.

Stephanie, too, is celebrating a milestone birthday this year (though she is much younger). And she's starting a new chapter in her life. I knew my Giving Key was meant for her. The necklace was one that I almost didn't bring to Miami, but grabbed it at the last minute before a 4 am airport departure.

it is crazy how life connects our paths. When I was Stephanie's boss I learned as much as I taught, which still continues today. She is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside, and brave and smart. 

When I bought the key I had no idea who I would give it to, though the organization that makes them (and employees homeless men in transition) says you'll know when you find the person to give it to. And I knew instantly, as Stephanie shared where she is in her journey. 

I made her promise to pass it along when she met the right person too. I believe the key stays with you as long as you need it -- for me two months, two months during a continued time of introspection and healing for me.

I hope it brings her the same joy, and the next person, and next person. Effatha means to be open. Wear it well, my friend. 

She always looks fabulous.  

She always looks fabulous.  

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