If you’ve ever struggled through the writing of a resume or professional biography, you have experienced only a fraction of the challenge I’m facing as I draft my book’s dedication page. I feel like a twelve-year-old girl deciding which classmates to invite to a birthday sleepover. The angst is real, folks!
To start with, my memoir is not about my whole entire life. Girl on the Right: Memoir of a Life Upside Down is about specific, related events and time periods that support my message. There’s also that little tidbit about not using names in my anecdotes. I am fairly certain that most of those no-names will recognize their place, although it’s hard to say. Moments are often interpreted differently among individuals. Not every moment has the same takeaway, or impact to all the participants. Maybe that’s why I feel the need to call out so many in my dedication.
The reality is that I have a shit-ton of people who have inspired me, encouraged me, and loved me along the way. Equally are those who damaged and scarred me. I also thankful to them for showing me how resilient and strong I am. After all, how can you appreciate the sun if you never experience rain?
I’d like to take a moment to call out a few people.
- Ryan and Mary Elisabeth – How can I not be changed by being their mother? They are each unique and soulful in their own way. While they have faced challenges and truly struggled at times, we have worked through and pushed through together. You make me stronger, kinder, and more patient than I ever dreamed.
- Steve – We started out at an odd time, and with some pretty big suitcases full of the not-so-pretty. I don’t think either of us has ever worked so hard to make something work, but here we are. We went from a shit sandwich to a plate of caviar. You have defined “unconditional,” and in your love, I have traded flight for fight. Being your wife is a grand adventure!
- Robin – We forged an unlikely friendship at Fibber McGee’s, and I will always be grateful. We’ve weathered many of life’s challenges, including that of growing up. Although we are no longer spouses, we are forever friends, and always family. I am proud of you for your integrity and character, and for the love you show our children.
- My Tribe (too many to name) – I never dreamed that friendship could be so beautiful. I hear the saying often that family sticks together through thick and thin, and you have. You are my sisters and brothers; some of you are more like mothers and fathers, or favorite aunts and uncles. No matter what role you fill, you are my family. You’ve proved to be loyal, loving, supportive, encouraging, kind, thoughtful, generous, and oh so much more.
- Amy – Because you didn’t flinch when I pitched this crazy book idea. Your response, as I remember it – “I love it, and I’m in.” You stretched yourself, despite your discomfort, and created a beautiful cover. You nailed it. #win
- Kristin – Because you have been my quiet strength since I informed you as an 11 year-old that I would be your friend. Ultimately, you became my friend, and the sister of my heart. You’ve carried me at my worst, and cheered me on at my best.
- Dalene – Because you are the opposite of me, and have forced me to see the flip side for the past 10 years. We’ve teased, laughed, supported, listened, and pushed each other to be better, stronger, wiser women.
- My mom – She always believed this book was in me, and waited patiently for me to focus and get down to business. “Hey look, a squirrel!”
- Diane – for helping me put the pieces back together. There was a reason that it never worked with anyone else – they weren’t you.
- Larry – I’ve told you before that being your student was life-changing, to which you’ve consistently responded, “I didn’t do anything, really.” Larry, you saw me when nobody else was looking, not even me. You took me under your wing, and presented opportunities for my writing, which positioned me for success. you’ve been my champion and cheerleader, and I hope you are proud of where I’ve landed.
- Those who’ve criticized, violated, manipulated, and hoped I’d fail, thank you for underestimating me, and for making me fierce. Oh, and FUCK YOU.
I still don’t know what will manifest onto the official dedication page, but at least I have my words on record. My deepest adoration and gratitude to all of you.