Friday, November 21, 2008
When survival is a team effort
Recently, in the course of working with fucked up teenagers, I've gotten to thinking about all the essential contributions people have made to my life. Finding one's way to adulthood is never easy; throwing certain awful experiences or psychological conditions into the mix makes it infinitely harder. The following list is of people who directly contributed to my survival, literal or psychological. As such, it is missing any number of dear friends who have supported me through less dire circumstances, as well as people who contributed in less direct, more "behind the scenes" ways, such as my sister Sarah and, I'm sure, others. I appreciate you also.
I wish everyone could know what great gains a small contribution can make; I wish everyone could know what can happen in the scale of one other life when they have the courage to step forward and care.
For everyone who has gotten me this far--thank you.
Mum and Da, who chose to welcome 1984 in the best of all possible ways and have always tried to do their best for their kids
Nancy, for making her husband my brother by marrying him
Alma, the best older brother a girl could ask for, who taught me almost everything I know about set theory and people, and more than I would have imagined about unconditional love
The PHS chess team, which included the first real friends I ever had, Ben Werner, Rachel Smith, and Caleb Anderson--special thanks to Gribble for making it possible and giving us a safe place
Mary Hedengren, whose courage, insight, intelligence, excellent advice and inadvertently persistent friendship have pulled me through some of the darkest times
Kathrine O'Sullivan, who made my Spanish sound like French, made competence incredibly appealing, and took a moment to ask me how I was every day and mean it
Dan Krimmelbein, who believed in me so much it was embarrassing and let me do whatever I needed
Barbara Patillo, the best listener I have ever met, who never refused to mourn with those that mourned or comfort those who stood in need of comfort
Whatever assortment of my family (I think mostly Grandmother and Mom) made sure I had the funds and the guts to fly off around the world and then spend two years of my life studying dance, when they didn't know why but only knew that I needed it
Mykle Law, who showed me my best when I couldn't see
Greg Lucero, who cared, keeps his promises, passionately believed I belonged to myself, and wanted me to be better till I wanted it too