1) my great-grandfather. he was an illegal alien. at the age of 13 he stowed away aboard a steamer, jumped ship at ellis island, walked the streets of new york, hungry and wet, until he heard his own language being spoken. his first job was watering the donkeys at construction sites. he died at 87, the embodiment of the american dream. thank you, poppy, for not only being so brave, but showing me there are some rules worth bending as well. you gave me courage.
2) my mother. she caused a scandal in our very small town by running off with a catholic priest when i was 8. he left the priesthood, they got married, and are still happy today. thank you, mommy, for not only being the hellion that you are, but for giving me permission to break the shackles of anything - including 2000 year old cultural instutitions, traditions and beliefs - that would attempt to bind me down. you gave me audacity.
3) my children. six little strangers, you showed up on my doorstep and challenged me to help you thrive. now you stand before me, mostly launched, and i am dazzled by your beauty. live long and prosper, my darlings. you give me immortality.
4) my Beloved. you make all my dreams come true.
5)all the people who've ever troubled me in anyway at all. you're the ones who made me strong. thank you for your lessons, painful though they may be. i bless you all on your journey and thank you on your way. you are the ones who've really showed me who i really am.
and furthermore, the war must end. blessed be.