I realize now that I haven’t been able to find a way to apologize to you because I should be thanking you.
Thank you for persistently encouraging me to be my best self, no matter what is going on in my own mind. Even when I stand in front of a full bowl, warm bed, or proof of an accomplishment and stare longingly at what’s in front of someone else. Thank you for cheering me through every hill I climb when I’m tired and being the voice in my ear during each pull-up when everything in me wants to drop down. Thank you for telling me that my words are beautiful, and encouraging me to pursue telling my own stories, to share them with others and to not settle for telling someone else’s story or using anything less than the full span of my personal gifts.
Thank you for teaching me that love is the ultimate value, and that love does not need to be explained. That sometimes the most important thing you can be doing is lying on the carpet with somebody. Thank you for homemade pizza crust and for being the most visible face in the pool bleachers. Thank you for all you’ve sacrificed to give me life and a family.
Thank you for the kindness in your eyes. It’s a tangible warmth and I can see it well up in there when our eyes meet. Thanks for letting that be the first and last thing I see each day for nineteen years. Thank you for never telling me that I’m better than everyone else, but for teaching me that I have inherent value. And thank you for always telling me out loud that you love me.