January 12, 2011

Day 8 — A thank you letter to someone who has changed your life

So when I saw this topic I was struck with the main question: Who has changed my life?

There are the obvious candidates: my mom, my grandmother, my husband; the best friend candidates: Angelina, Emmy, CBurton; and the teachers who have made an impact: Jeffrey Morano, Tony Esposito, or Jennifer Pierson Smith but all of them seem too big for this type of assignment.  This should be reserved for someone who doesn't realize how much they have influenced your life. So here goes nothing, let's hope she reads it one day...

This woman ranks right up there with my mom in my eyes.  She is hardworking, dedicated, loyal to her relationships, and easily one of the strongest people I have ever met. 

I met this amazing woman about five years ago now at Bridgewater State and when I think of our first few months together I laugh because one day she told me she admired me, and I had thought the same about her.  She was devoted and dedicated to her school work; she was in the middle of a relationship that was so TRUE I couldn't believe that they were both college students  Most people don't have the capacity or maturity for a relationship like they have/had at that time. At that time I had no idea how important in my life she would be and I am so thankful for our talk time in my dorm room.  I truly consider her one of my best friends now.

As great as our friendship was/is, it really grew in 2009.  We took our "friend-cation" to Ft Lauderdale and I have NEVER had so much fun with someone.  The trip itself was ridiculous and amazing and when we came back it was prep time for her wedding.  Standing next to her in the church was one of the greatest honors I have had in my life and watching the two of them, I began to believe in marriage and its commitment to another person (side note: Anyone who knows me, knows this was insane for me because I NEVER wanted to get married).  I was between boyfriends and longed to have what she did.  Then they bought a house and I found myself yearning for it.  I wanted to be better, like her.  I applied to grad school and she even wrote me a recommendation.

Then I met the man who would become my husband and after a small (large) misunderstanding, we began to lose touch with each other.  I still thought about her often.  I was getting married, I had a man who looked at me the way her husband looked at her, and I felt the same way towards him. He made me happy and I wanted her to be a part of it so badly.  While I wasn't able to repair our relationship in time for her to stand next to me on the alter, she was there, and that's what matters. 

I finally felt like I was someone worth looking up to.  I had my life in order, married, in our own place, with a puppy, and it made me feel good. Like I had proven myself, like I finally deserved to be looked up to.  I had always admired her and I couldn't understand why or how she could admire me. Then I got pregnant. She found out pregnancy was going to be much more difficult than her and her husband had thought. 

I lost my first child when I was in school.  It was probably for the best.  My (ex)boyfriend at the time didn't want it and I felt lost and alone before the miscarriage, however, afterwards I felt like there was something wrong with me; like I was damaged.  When she found out they would have complications, she remained strong and determined to make it happen and if anyone could make it happen, it would be her.

Sure enough, they got pregnant. Unfortunately, she miscarried as well.  She refused to be beaten and she has changed my life because of that moment.

Everyday, she finds three good things in life. She has shared her story, day by day with strangers to offer support to them, and she is still optimistic for her family's future. In the past month I have stopped dwelling on what I'm not and what I don't have and instead have focused on the good.  I have to wake up early for work, so what; at least I have a job.  I have to clean my apartment, so what, it means I have a place to live.  When I wake up some days and don't want to roll out of bed I think of all the good in my life and it's so much easier.
That's the back story I guess so here it goes:



Dear Mrs. Casey Marnik Dobbins,


Thank you for changing my life.  Thank you for teaching me to see the good despite how many bad things are thrown in my way, thank you for helping me reach who I am today, and thank you for being a person I view as a role model.  You are an amazing woman and you will change the world.


xoxo.

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