For Sherry Keller, my friend

“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” Michelangelo

About a decade ago I had this “brilliant” idea of taking my love of writing and politics and marry the two to try and carve out a career for myself. I jumped into the scene with nary a clue of what the hell I was getting myself into. As I tried to create an online following, I met a woman named Sherry. I think the best word I could choose with our meeting is kismet. It was certainly kismet. We were fast friends and pretty much all day every day we would message back and forth. The first chunk of years was on Twitter until it started to suck and then we moved our conversations to Facebook messenger.

I loved our conversations. Sherry is quite literally one of the more brilliant people I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. She was also the best debater you’ve ever met. She had this ability to turn the tables like lightening on any person stupid enough to try and spar words with her. If you ever got into any kind of debate with me back in the day, I’ll let you know a little secret. You were really debating Sherry. She would message me behind the scenes, even if I was a guest on a radio show or when I was hosting my own. I would like you to know, Sherry kicked your ass and she let me take the credit for it. I think she enjoyed it.

Sherry was so pivotal in my writing, radio show, and political career. I simply would not be where I am today had it not been for her.

But wait, there’s more.

She was one of the kindest people I’ve ever met. She bought me my first professional microphone and from time to time she would make certain that my kids got some of her homemade West Virginia gifts, like the best jam you’ve ever had in your life.

Sherry would listen to me ramble for hours anytime I decided to step out on a ledge and would calming talk me off said ledge. She was a fiercely private person but if you ever had the opportunity to speak with her and get to know her, you felt as if you had known her for a lifetime.

She also loved hockey. Oh my Lord, did she love hockey! The New York Rangers were her team and I remember inquiring as to why a West Virginia girl loved the Rangers. I would give anything now to remember her reasoning. All I can remember is that it was a good reason and I accepted it. We would even watch games together while messaging back and forth. She knew more about hockey than, well, anyone. I bet some of you went toe to toe with her on hockey too! And I bet she kicked your ass there as well.

Sherry loved to create. She would make gorgeous stained glass creations. She loved to garden. And when I say “garden”, I mean she could have been the sole source for any nearby grocery store for a full year. She would can what she grew, and cook, and create. It always looked like art. And home.

Conversations with her felt like home. She would give me the tough love when I needed it, but also she always felt like she was on my team. We were a team. She always rooted for me. She would be the first to read anything I wrote and would send so much praise and love to me for it. And I love her with all of my heart and strength.

Sherry, the angel, was released from the marble this week after a battle with cancer.

She is one of those rare people who leave you better than when they found you. I am better for having known her and I will be eternally grateful for the kind blessing of having her in my life.

Rest in peace, my friend.