Words cannot express the emptiness I feel and so many people feel right now. Denver Hutt made Indy and the world the best that it could be. She lived more life in her 28 years than most people live in a lifetime. My last memory will be saying I love you to her as I left her place yesterday morning. We spent Thursday afternoon watching historical documentaries and I shared my usual random updates – I told her about all of the people that had reached out to me to express their love for her. All of my friends had become friends with Denver and there is not a single person she came in contact with that she did not impact in some way.
She had a presence about her – we could sit in silence and then look at each other and laugh. Over our 11 years of friendship, we have been vulnerable with each other, we’ve shared our illnesses, our lessons in love, our highs and all of our lows. I could always rely on Denver to tell me the truth, even when I did not want to hear it. She made me stronger than I ever thought I could be and we motivated each other to be our best.
On Thursday we sat and I wrote a stack of 40 thank you notes to supporters of the GoFundMe page. Almost 300 people donated, but most donations were anonymous. She read the addresses to me and we sat for hours sorting through her card collection and crafting personalized messages to friends. Denver thrived on others’ happiness. She did not have time in her life for a pity party; instead, she used her time to send a little love to #TeamDenver.
Thursday night we watched her favorite go-to-feel-good movie, The Robinsons, which perfectly epitomizes Denver’s love for entrepreneurship, creativity, and other people. She wanted to hear all about what I was up to even though it did not seem important. I had met someone for drinks the night before and she was so proud of me for getting outside of my comfort zone. We talked about my 30 before 30 bucket list and my promise to learn a rap song from start to finish. We could not stop laughing at my ridiculous attempt to rap a few lyrics.
I have enough memories from college and our time in Indy to fill a novel, but the memories of my last night with her will stay with me forever. I will treasure our walks around Monument Circle when we first lived in Indy after IU. We would discuss our dreams and lofty ideas only to see many of them come to fruition years later. The Speak Easy was her home and I could not have been prouder to call her my friend and witness her impact on Indy.
During the RFRA debate at the Statehouse she asked me to bake cookies as a way to thank the organizations and people in Indy that supported LGBT rights, including Mayor Ballard and the Indiana Chamber. I made dozens of chocolate chip cookies for her to deliver and I know it meant so much to her and the recipients. Denver served as a great moral compass; she always did what was right.
This past summer we had a shared bucket list. I had just moved back to Indy and I knew that if anyone could encourage, aka force, me to get out there and live life, it was Denver Hutt. We compiled our list and conquered most of it. I will hold onto those memories forever. Yoga on paddle boards (neither of us fell off!), tubing on the lazy river at the Jewish Community Center, strawberry picking, apple pie baking, Monumental Yoga on the Circle, art and canvas night, and kayaking at Eagle Creek.
Kayaking will remain the most memorable of the adventures. It was a peaceful September day spent with my best friend on the water. We documented each adventure with photos and the one taken with my iPhone in a Ziplock bag while kayaking sums up our friendship. Two thumbs up from my sidekick.
A part of me will be gone forever, but if Denver could tell you to remember anything, it would be to be kind. Make the world a better place. Get out there and “meet cool people, doing cool things.” She celebrated everyday and you should too.
I love you to the moon and back, DHutt!