Kathryn Cloward and Melissa McElvain Kathryn the Grape

I have amazing friends in my life, many spanning multiple decades, and Melissa is one of them. We met in high school when I was a senior and she was a freshmen. We were both catchers on the varsity softball team. Melissa has been passionate about softball her whole life. She received a full ride scholarship to college and is now the head coach of the University of San Diego softball program (17 years and counting).

Melissa and I remained loosely connected over the years with our paths always converging at just the right time. The photo on the top right is of the two of us at the 2012 San Diego Magazine “Woman of the Year” awards event when we were both nominees. In the last few years we have become especially close. I have honored our friendship by including her in my Kathryn the Grape series as “Mighty Melissa” and both of her daughters sang backing vocals on my KTG music CD.

She is part of so much of my daily life and is someone I trust beyond measure. Melissa has been to many of my shows and was with us at the Belly Up the other night taking care of the fine details necessary for us to have a good show (photo on the bottom right is of us backstage). Someone asked us the other night if we were sisters and we both said “yes” without hesitation because that’s what we are. I didn’t have any sisters growing up so my friends are like sisters to me, soul-sisters, and Melissa is part of my cherished soul-family.

In a time when my vulnerability meter is cranked to extreme, I feel safe knowing I have trustworthy people of integrity close by loving me unconditionally and selflessly encouraging my expansion.  My cup is overflowing… I am grateful.

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