1. acceptance of the truth or existence of something.
  2. the action of expressing or displaying gratitude or appreciation for something.
  3. an author’s or publisher’s statement of indebtedness to others, typically one printed in a book.

Okay, great! Here is where I can make my statement of indebtedness to others. Here is where I will express and display my gratitude and appreciation for something. Here is where I will accept the truth and show the existence of something. And that something is this: without these people in my life this book could not exist.

And I really want to thank them because—Ah, I love that word because: It’s a word we use multiple times daily and yet, sometimes I don’t think I always see the weight of its meaning. We use because to answer almost everything. Why do I climb a mountain? Why do I write? Why do I love? There’s always a ‘because’, isn’t there? Why are you doing something? Because of this or because of that. I guess when we say because, we are really saying: That is my cause to be.

All right, so let me start with my cause to be. I want to thank:

Yvonne and Rich, because you opened the door to show me all the great things I could become. (Good Morning Starshine)

Greg, because you helped me reach somewhere I never thought I could. (We are the Champions)

Elia, because you always showed me inspiration lies in the doing. (The Impossible Dream)

Gabe, because you trusted me enough to take your life’s journey as a climber and help you find purpose in telling your story to others. (Born to Run)

Linda, because you teach me so many things—things I sometimes forget and things I would never know if you were not my sister and friend. (I am Woman)

Vera, because you climbed all the mountains first so you could show us how to do it. (Do You Believe in Magic)

Jim, because you held onto my hand and didn’t let me fall. (Redemption Song)

Pamela, because you let me into your world and become a part of the care you show and give your students—that world is more awesome beyond any stories ever written. (Imagine)

Linton, because you helped me create, by letting me experiment over and over again without doubt. (Man in the Mirror)

Monica, because you brought me hope that I should continue becoming. (Both Sides Now)

Sandy, because of your care to make a difference. (Beautiful World)

Peter, because you always made me feel I was living the dream. (Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For)

Brenda, because your perspective and honesty and willingness to learn raise me up. (Bridge over Troubled Waters)

Morgan, because you helped a blank screen look better. (Respect)

Shawn, because your teaching and caring inspire me to believe that teaching is such a noble profession. (How to Save a Life)

Celestine, because you always make me feel and see my worth. (In My Life)

Ashley, because you helped this story grow into a healthy tree of words. (Changes)

Willow, because of your inspired thoughts. (Calling All Angels)

Jessica, because your belief in me instills a perseverance that keeps me growing and learning. (Stand By Me)

Michel, because your creative spirit inspires me to always keep creating. (Firework)

Starr, because you helped me take a step when I didn’t see the path. (Jump)

Christina, Bridget, Marilyn, Barry and Maureen, because of your openness to read something new and different. (Help)

Loraine, because your eyes helped my words smile. (Won’t Get Fooled Again)

All the teachers and students who allowed me to be in their lives, because without you, I wouldn’t have found this incredible purpose. (All My Life’s a Circle)

And last but not least…

My parents, because you always held hands. (Spanish Eyes)

My family, because without the feeling that I belonged to something, many of the wonders that have happened in my life would never have had a chance to exist. (Que Sera, Sera – Whatever Will Be Will Be)

Candace, because watching you become teaches me constantly. (Carry On)

Virginia, because you smile and share everything with me, and because you give me more causes to be than I could ever wish for, and mostly because of you, I love who I’m becoming. (If)


To anyone who listened, because we all really need that. (Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head)

To everyone who made me feel I belonged, because that’s where love begins! (Every Song I Love)

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