I've decided that there are too many of you that mean too much for me to choose from those of you in my life right now. I couldn't leave any of you out - so, with the exception of my high school crew, y'all are disqualified for this meme. You know how much you mean to me - and if you don't, ask.
1. Bob Tupper: my 'It's Ac' coach for 4 years and my Modern European History teacher, he was my first surrogate dad, and takes a good chunk of the credit for my being able to overcome my childhood. From him I learned that you could still be loved if you were 'bad' (read: angry, upset) and that an argument didn't mean the end of a relationship. 'Thank you' isn't sufficient, Mr T, but it's all I have.
2. Jean Hill: my American history teacher who said to me, "I was discussing you with another teacher, and we think you have this HUGE unexplored verbal talent." My parents had always told me I was shit at anything but maths and science. Ms Hill opened my eyes and made me realise where my heart really was, though it took some time. I AM a liberal arts girl. I can DO science, but my soul is English and history and psychology and...
3. Nana-abba: Grandpa (maternal). This is hard, because I still love and miss him so very much. Just...the gentlest, most spiritual man I've ever known. And I lost him when I realised just how much there was to learn from him. I hope that the woman I am, spiritually, emotionally, in how I am to others, is someone he could be proud of.
4. Lou de Misa: my friend who worked the Child Crisis Line when I worked the Crisis Hotline. She committed suicide and I didn't see it coming. She was a surrogate mother when I needed one, and I wish I'd gone into the room to hug her the last time I saw her, even though she was busy. Requiescat in pace.
5. Nicki, Lari, Sue and crew: this is a cheat - but my high school pod counts as one person, in my eyes. Thank you for being my first friends, for sticking with me despite how difficult I was - for being my shelter, my laughter, my strength when I most needed it. And for pushing the friend button when we found each other on facebook. You were some of the best times in my life at one of the worst times, and halfway across the street or halfway around the world, you will always, always, be a part of me and have a place in my heart.
As will everyone currently and previously in my life that I love so dearly that aren't on the list. You have made me who I am, and words are inadequate to express what you mean to me.
And those of you I have yet to meet, I cannot wait: may our soul ties draw us ever closer to the corner where we turn and find each other. See you soon.