A comment added to this post on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. earlier today reminded me that although we may forget many of the details, the stories, and the moments of our lives, other people do not forget. In honor of Coach D, my son's former basketball coach, I am going to focus my gratitude on people and events from my more distant past. There are far too many to list here, so I will limit myself to 19, because today is the 19th of January.
1. Coach D himself. Thank you for your love for our sweet boy way back when you coached him and for your ongoing interest in him, even though you now live in Texas. Daniel still smiles whenever he talks about you and the team you coached him on.
4. her love of all things natural and all things photogenic
6. the Suburban Women's Writing Group - three of the most thoughtful, funny, generous, hospitable, gifted, open-hearted, adventurous women I have ever been associated with. I miss you all more than you can imagine.
7. Jorge, my Spanish boyfriend back in 1986, who introduced me to Madrid and welcomed me "home"
8. the way his wife, Elena, and their daughter, Irene, welcomed me into their precious family back in 2009 and met up with me again in 2011
9. the kind of love that doesn't end because the two people involved marry other people
10. Lisa, Lisa, Lisa!
11. Chris Woodman, my English teacher during my senior year in high school. He invited me to his wedding that year and three years later to his wife's family home near the beach in Normandy, France. I wish they had warned me about the face that it was a nude beach.
12. the fact that I was both modest and confident enough to keep on my one piece bathing suit even though nearly everyone else was in the buff. Looking back now, I wish I'd been bold enough to let it all hang out - back then when nothing was actually hanging...
13. my Spanish mamá, Marta, and this blonde-haired bombshell of a boy, her grandson, who is now a proud older brother. (Mamá, te amo mucho y estoy orando por ti y tu salud. Te echo de menos muchísimo. Te mando dos besos y un abrazo muy fuerte. Cuídate bien.)
16. the beauty of the children in Nicaragua, their hugs, their smiles, their boundless energy, their limitless joy
17. Karen Hughes, the woman who welcomed us into her home that first Thanksgiving that we spent here in Charlotte. She wouldn't tell me why she kept insisting that we come over, but when we arrived at her home and her husband answered the door, I knew why - like us, they are an interracial couple. Or rather, they were. She has since passed from glory to glory.
18. Her gorgeous daughters, Anya and Bekah, who come visit us whenever they are back in Charlotte from their various new life locations.