In 2007 or thereabouts, I started spending more time around the tennis courts. The tennis community really became like a second family for me, and I found so much joy and passion playing the game.
My sister, Robin and I played tennis quite a bit for fun after high school, but it wasn't until picking it back up in my late 30's that I realized how much of an important part of my life it would be.
Some of my greatest and dearest friendships developed in Pensacola as a result of playing tennis, mainly one friend in particular, Cherrie Rankin.
Cherrie is a prominent, well known and loved native of Pensacola, and her husband, Bill, a successful attorney for Kerrigan, Estes, Rankin, McCloud, & Thompson.
Cherrie and I met when Donna Siskind, magazine editor for First Serve Magazine, a local tennis publication, found out that I was a songwriter/singer out of Nashville. After hearing my recording of my original song, "If I'm Not In Love", Cher wanted to meet me, and we did meet while I was playing a match. Soon thereafter, I went to lunch with her and her whole team, and she and I became close friends.
Cher and I have been together for 12 years now, and the security I feel from her love, support and companionship has made the difference in my life. As a result, my bipolar disorder and huge mood swings have become less of an issue for me.