Expressing my appreciation to the many people who have contributed to my knowledge, experience and growth is of paramount importance to me. I live by the creed of sharing heart-felt emotion and care for people whenever possible, for we do not have foreknowledge of when our visit on this earth will conclude. As a result, I have often times sounded ‘sappy’ to some and ‘down right odd’ to others—but I just take this as a welcome testament to my “living life outside the box”.
To my son – Daniel (PhD, Research & Associate Professor/Santa Clara University):
You may get tired of hearing it, (NOT), but you are my hero. I am so proud of you. At a crucial time in your life, the tid-bits of information, reasoning, encouragement, discipline and great affirmation came together in a volume of understanding. You saw your vision, grasped for your goal and haven’t let go. Your past, present and future testify to your courage and integrity, held steadfast by your perseverance. A mother’s proud tears come to my eyes when I think of you. And I smile. The continuity of our relationship has remained steadfast through my life transition in these past years. One of the definitions of love – steadfast relationship – that’s us!
Daniel was taken from us in an accident on the 280 California freeway outside of San Jose. Dan had hit a deer disabling his car. As he turned to the back seat to get his things, according to a witness, a car drifted across the freeway striking Daniel’s car at full speed. This immediately caused severe brain injury. Daniel was taken to the Standard University Hospital where he was declared dead on September 23, 2011. In the evening of September 25, 2011, in a final act of giving, he went into the transplant surgery suite. It was my birthday.
Alcohol and inattentiveness going at excessive speeds were the cause of this accident. Another statistic, but a life-devastating loss for me, Rick (Dan’s Dad), the remainder of our family – thousands of students Daniel would have taught and hundreds of friends across the globe. When will drinking and driving stop?
To my Mom – Freda:
A tiny, tenacious, intelligent and persistent lady who never had the opportunity to fully meet your potential. You left us too early, but what you accomplished in your short life demonstrated perseverance, strength, patience and consistency. You showed me courage and taught me I could do anything I set my mind to. Thank you for being the foundation to who I am today.
To my Brother – Dennis:
At a time when I was taking such flack for ‘being a tomboy’, you simply said that a girl isn’t really worth anything unless she can drive a stick shift. Although this comment probably doesn’t make sense to anyone else, it does to us. Thank you for saving my life when I walked off the dock up at Coeur d’Alene Lake; apparently I had more to accomplish in my lifetime. And for coming to my rescue when I sought refuge at the neighbor’s house from that fellow following me home from the drive-in. I was extremely frightened. I appreciated your hand on my shoulder and walking me home, and that you didn’t think it was stupid that I was scared. Your response and acceptance of me as I shared my life changes has been greatly appreciated.
To my ex-husband – Rick:
Some of our adventures have been funny, some sad, some exciting, some terrifying, but none boring! My deepest desire is for you to be happy.
To Denise R. Wallace (BRANDgfx) – My Graphic Designer and so much more:
I knew when we spoke on the phone the first time that we were going to make a good team. I so appreciate professionalism, and you, my friend, are a professional. You are multi-talented in so much more than graphic design. Your acceptance of only the best has brought the best to this entire endeavor. You have done an excellent and remarkable job, and have exceeded my expectations. One day we will meet for dinner!
(I selected Denise as my graphic designer after contacting her from an internet ad and viewing her work on her own website. We had one phone conversation and a couple of emails, and I knew she also was a “little out of the box”; an admirable quality I could relate to!)
Denise completed my first website in 2006. It is now 2016 when she and her brother Brad created this beautiful new website! We still have not gone to dinner.
To all of the other dear ones who have graced my life – family, teachers, advisors, mentors, friends, pastors, neighbors, employers and co-workers. My mind is flying a million miles per second (faster than the speed of light) and I see each of you and the significant part you have played in my life. How wonderful it would be if our past could be cataloged with each person and the events they played in our lives. Though imperfect memories are all I have, with a clear, firm imprint left on my mind and my heart you have added your influence. For your contributions, I honor you. You have changed my life.
And yes, thank you Sandy – for those times only an 8 pound miniature Dachshund can share. And, for the 10,000 licks per per day you gave for the 17 years of life you were granted. I must believe there is a doggie heaven where you are being your rude, bossy and lovable little self with your tail wagging so hard and fast that it virtually flies from your bottom. You are missed.
Chauncey – my Chihuahua – Not to ever replace Sandy, but to create joy and laughter in my home. I know that you and Poppy (my cat) collaborate in a team effort to make me laugh. You both are why GoPro video cameras were made.