What an appropriate prompt for Thanksgiving Day! Who has made my life worth living? Every person I’ve ever called a best friend, including (but not limited to): Marjory; Harmony; Gwen; Justin; Jan; Amanda; Alexis; Chieko; Dawn; Kari; Margo; Mary-Elizabeth; Calvin; Misty; the women of Heritage 11—Jenny, Jessy, Kelly, Kiyo, Emily and Rachael; Jackie; Lex; Drew; Tom; my NYC girls—Madrid, Laura and Carolina; Todd; and, of course, Rose and Val. God bless you all for the laughter, the letters, the late-night conversations, the adventures and the fun. I wouldn’t have made it without you.
My students, in a weird way, make life worth living. As I help them, I send ripples of good out into the world. Help one kid in the Bronx and you may help his family, not just now, but for generations to come. That kind of hope is inspiring and renewing. Also, my students are often vivacious and kind. I work part time at a daycare center, and the hugs and giggles are a natural antidepressant!
My family makes life worth living. I am blessed beyond measure to have been born into my family. They are one-in-a-million in terms of closeness, supportiveness and camaraderie. They raised me with faith, good values and kindness. They taught me a strong work ethic and a dedication to civil justice and community. They taught me to be patriotic—not an unquestioning drone, but rather an informed, reasonable woman who loves her country and shows it respect.
Over and over again, it strikes me how lucking I was to have parents who were crazy in love and took such good care of us, six grandparents and countless aunts and uncles who teased/doted on us, and cousins who are as close as siblings. Living in New York, I’d hear people say of the homeless, “that could be you.” But I always knew it couldn’t. I was blessed with a support system that would never let my life spin that far out of control. Some of my friends and family members have admired my accomplishments, or my bravery venturing so far from home. To them I say that it’s easy to jump when you know there’s someone there to catch you.
Thank you all for the fun, adventures, comfort, time, energy and love. Thanks for the love most of all.