TTW: Your book was important to me. People with our roots do not usually attempt or achieve secular literary success. I needed to see it for that reason. I also have a mommy, and her life is finite. The book belongs to her, and when I need it the most, I will inherit her copy.

RP: I am sorry that the scar tissue on the heart is all I have to show, even for the good times. You were the first person to say I was beautiful. You taught me there is nothing I can't survive. I wish the same had been true for you.

SM: You are the model for the strong woman I will be. You have taught me unconditional love.

PM: It's usually fun to know you. When it isn't, I learn.

JM: You taught me that I could be more than I thought I could. I think you've finally internalized the lesson.

CY: Thank you for not putting me in a box. I don't think I would have escaped.

SM (2): You were probably more important to me than I to you. You didn't leave my side when I hurt, though.

LB: Words mean everything to me. You know that. I needed a sister and a mentor and you did your best, by remote and in spite of your own deep hurting.

SB: I wish you would return my calls. You used to listen to me. Your poems were electric; why did you drop the pen?

SH: Your letters got me through high school. Your openness is getting me through college, even by remote.

BZ: You're a force of wonder in my life, and have been since you entered it. You know what's important, probably better than anyone I know.

NR: You used to inspire me because you believed in yourself. When I discovered that you don't believe in anything besides yourself, I was less impressed. There were plenty of good times, however, before we fell out.

MZ: You were fearless and beautiful and capable of of more love and empathy than anyone we went to school with. I wanted you so badly I could not speak. Probably more painfully, I wanted to be like you.

KB: You were never afraid to be kind to me, even when you didn't know my name. There was so more to you than the dirge they played at your funeral. You were loyal and real. Those qualities are far too rare, and every shred of evidence to that effect makes me ache.

JC: I miss you terribly. You had relationships with dirt, sun, and pie. I lost my place when you lost yours.

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