Thank you, Mami Salvi (my mom), for teaching me what unconditional love looks like from another’s point of view. It takes time, learns space, and finds a way to merge the two.

Thank you, Father Mack (my dad), for making life feel less lonely. I mirrored you in so many ways, the good and the…up for debate.

To my sisters and my brothers, to my nieces and my nephews.

To my friends, from elementary days, middle school craze, high school maze, and university daze.

To all of the most amazing teachers and guidance counselors in my primary and secondary schooling, Mrs. Frank (second grade), Mrs. P, and Mr. Richter. In university, Dr. Hanak, Dr. Ellis, Dr. McRae, and Dr. Durham.

To all of my students, from my YMCA kids, my third graders, my first graders, and all that lies before me as of today. You taught me so much grace, more kindness. Thank you for giving me so much purpose, for being my heaven on Earth — my angels.

To everyone who has ever shown me kindness, stranger or familiar.

To my future family: my sweetheart, my daughter, and my son, I can’t wait to have you here!

To my ancestors, I am because you were.