Most people have someone or maybe a few someones in their lives who are permanently engraved in their hearts and even their souls...I've been a very fortunate female in my young adult life, as well as my current life to have had and to have three beautiful women who, in different ways, impacted my life and who are special to me in a way that the word loses its natural meaning because the feeling is beyond what the word special could ever convey, three women who touched me while I was a mother, and after my daughter passed.
Before I start this lovely late-in-life marvelous journey of pursuing an even higher level of education, I must give credit to Lori, Shawna and Trace---they have been by my side in ways unimaginable and they have each supported me and loved me unconditionally. I would not be able to begin this next journey without each of them, our pasts and rich histories together, separately. They each know what they have done to give new meaning to what true, real friendship is all about.
they have caught my tears
they have held my hand
they have lifted me in a time when I was a falling spirit
they have taught me so many prospectives in life that
....as a single mother, I could never have seen or experienced
they have never left my side neither for better nor for worse
they cried with me when they didn't feel up to it
they have helped me keep my memories alive by letting me tell my daughter's stories
....over and over and over again and again
they have pushed me softly and loved me even with my flaws
they have listened like a sister
they have been sincere
they have been judge-less
they have always been themselves with me.
Idiosyncrasies and fond memories:
Lori, African American Professional Engineer: I still don't understand how she competes with the big boys in engineering...they've tried to shove and bully her out, but she's still there...stronger than ever...she's an amazing wonder. I love watching her hands when she slices bread or prepares an afternoon lunch in the morning before...the way she stands back on her legs...her mesmerizing smile. She's the one who knows when I sing hardcore love songs (as hard as Teena Marie songs), I'm often singing to or about the nostalgic love for my daughter. She taught me about black American jazz.
Shawna, Taiwanese American Published Author/Educator: I love watching her sop overeasy eggs on a plate and our long talks about writing, love, academia and Taiwan. She likes to grab an elbow to cross a busy street...I love her dearly because I've never heard her criticize another or strike out against another in harsh judging (reminds of my step mom who never ever ever ever speaks negatively or against an individual--I seriously don't think they are normal in this sense)...I love that. I'm grateful to have been a part of her writing process. She taught me how to see a bunch of writing stuff I missed on my own.
Trace, White American Self Assured Legal Assistant: I love the way she says "always" -- so Wisconsin, even though she doesn't know she's saying it with an accent. I love the way she gives herself meticulous pedicures, drinks wine and never ever ever throws away food. She is strikingly beautiful and honest and loves men more than one woman's share. She taught me so much about the male, even when I wasn't in need or looking or desirous. She doesn't cry, ever ever never. It has to be pretty damn significant. She helped me transition from the loss of my daughter to who I am today. Her son is my first real male baby boy and he still is. She watched me struggle through math and statistics to get to UCDavis. She knows me nearly as well as I know myself. She is my blood.
They are the only intimate, close, trustworthy friends I have on this earth, in this life. They are my family. I will never ever be able to repay them, but they don't look...they have sent me on this journey, long before I arrived, with love and well wishes or simply without words...
I can't begin my first day of graduate school tomorrow without saying "thank you" to each of them for the difference they've made in my life...and "i love you each" too...(they know though).
So, enough sap...here's my song picks for them. It took a while and really not long enough because there's too many songs I'd sing to each of them at any given moment:
I love you guys more than I can ever express...the first one was for Jenn...this one's for yal three. OX