This song came to mind after my last dating relationship, in which I learned some abiding lessons.
This experience caused me to reflect on others who have come into my life, whether for a specific reason or for a long-lasting purpose.
Now, I haven’t written a book, but if I ever do (which I think I will), my “Acknowledgements” section would go something like this:
Mom: for giving me life and showing me how to live it well.
Dad: for your mantra, “If you’re doing the right thing, the right thing will happen,” and for teaching me that not everyone will like you.
Sister: for redefining GPS (God Positioning System) and teaching me to pick a direction. Even if it’s the wrong direction, life has a way of recalculating you (and for taking me to see Wicked).
Aunt Beth and Uncle Moi: for feeding me, being my dessert guinea pigs, and for listening to my endless musings.
Aunt Susy: for our Starbucks dates, and for showing me it’s ok to have a bleeding heart, as long as you don’t let it drain you.
Uncle Frank: for reminding me of how good you can look in your late 60s if you don’t eat sugar.
Aunt Cindy and Uncle Brian: for proving that you’re never too old to travel internationally or learn foreign languages.
Cousins: for camping memories.
Mike and Jen: for everything. Your hospitality, love, and enduring friendship. Thank you for entering the arena with me.
Speir and Bethany: for being the biggest advocates of my teaching (despite my disbelief in my abilities) and for showing me how to pursue truth.
Fellow adjuncts: for your extreme patience in answering my incessant texts and for sharing the teaching struggle. I appreciate your genius, talent, and insight.
Random GB3 man: for showing me how cool it can be when your job and passion coincide.
The Stotts: for being my adoptive family.
Fellow seminarians (you know who you are): for teaching me how to think, ask the right questions, navigate the grey with faith, and for showing me how great God is.
Grandma and Grandpa: for your hugs, kisses, endless Fudgsicle supply, and helping raise us.
Rayan: for showing me what genuine compassion and empathy are.
Kelly Cahill: for your spunk, tenacity, wisdom, and for reminding me how great love can be, at any age, when you’re with the right person.
The Guidrys: for showing me what hospitality is.
My college roommates, friends, IVers: for reminding me not to take myself to seriously (though I always did) and for walking through this transformative time in life with me.
Mark Baker: for seeing something in me I never saw in myself, and for patiently fostering this despite my resistance. I’m still struggling to see this something, but it’s becoming clearer.
Brian Horton: for pushing me to the brink, knowing I wouldn’t fall off (despite my doubt).
Magnadoodle: for our dream feed bonding time, and for reminding me that we’re inherently worthy and valuable simply because we exist.
Mrs. Bennett: for your comments on The House of the Spirits essay, and for recognizing my writing talent before it was on my radar.
Amirah: for understanding my crazy (and empathizing with it), and for keeping our weekly phone dates even though this level of scheduling is completely contrary to your personality.
Mario Giuliani: for giving me a much-needed hug 15 years ago and letting me know it was going to be alright. You’re right. It was.
Opa: for teaching me patience, giving me insight into how I want to be treated when I'm old, and for reminding me that history matters.
FPD (not Fresno Police Department): for showing me that I can, and want to, love someone again.
My students: for revealing where I shine and struggle as a teacher.
EPU Children’s Center: for taking a chance on me and seeing potential in my fresh-out-of-college-very-green-I’m-not-sure-she-has-any-clue-what-she’s-doing-state.
To all the men I’ve dated: for helping me identify my emotional and relational blind spots; unlocking facets of my personality I didn’t know existed; thinking my craziness is actually endearing; teaching me that some people reject Harvard (reference Betches); and for showing me that we’re all doing the best we can.
You have all rewritten my story for the better. And for the good.
Lyrics taken from: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/idinamenzel/forgood.html