Friday, February 20, 2004


Today's my birthday. It's always hard being so far from home on my birthday because our family had so many Mom-centered rituals for making sure we knew we were special and loved.

It seems to me birthdays are mostly backward in the way we celebrate them. They should be days first of all for someone to look at his or her life and give thanks for all the people who have "birthed" some good in the journey. The birthday people should be the ones giving gifts... I have had many, many people love me in extravagant and gratuitous ways in my life, and their kindnesses and solicitude has everythiing to do with me being able to get up out of bed in the morning and take the next best step.

Borrowing from Patty Heaton's first Emmy Award accepance speech, "Thanks first to God for thinking me up and for Mom and Dad for letting me out!"

-Thanks Al and Val for every moment. Spending time with you will always be the best, the most, the point.
-Thanks to the Nanas now in heaven for all the warmth, the welcome, the cookies and the prayers.
- Thanks nuns who taught me over the years --- Sr. Borg for passing me in algebra in an acceptance that failing me would be an insurrmountable obstacle because I was never going to learn that stuff anyway...Sr. Dot...Sr. Maureen...Sr. Eugenia...Sr. Sharon...
- Thanks Dr. Barger - for calling me rambunctious but for not dismissing me - and Mr. Madison and Mr. Fox and Dr. Stanciu -- there are no words for how well my Magdalen education has served me.
- Thanks to my sisters, the Daughters of St. Paul. - Sr. Raymond. Sr. Linda. Sr. Veritas. Sr. Bernardine. You showed me how to respond to the greatest love. And my sisters who became my closest friends, Rosana, Karen, Helena, Bernie, Katherine James, Sean David.
- Thanks to the priests who have witnessed such a strong "in persona Christi" that I have been able to weather all the weirdness of the post-conciliar era, still sure that the priesthood is a special call to holiness - Fr. Don, Fr. Willy, Fr. Trembley, Fr. Maguire, Fr. Short, Dom Julian, Fr. Benedict, Fr. Mark
- Thanks Delle for coming to class at Northwestern believing that one of the cynical, bored faces out there would hear your message about how powerfully good movies and television could be.
- Thanks Enid for your welcome. And yes, Fr. K for your invitation.
- Thanks to the friends who have made it through the years - Mary and Kev, Celeste, Laura, Deidre
- Thanks new friends Zoe, the Lisas, Anne = (the greatest women in the Northern Hemisphere!), Janet, Amy (forgive the presumption!), Susan, Margaret and "the Emily people"
- Thanks to everyone in the Christian community of Hollywood who have become my companions amd collaborators on this current journey. Someone said to me once that, "Christianity isn't a club you join for the members." I beg to differ. Thanks Dean and Beth, Jan and Lee, Chris and Kathy, Charlie and Debra, Karen and Jim, David Schall, Craig, Scott, Chuck, Jack, Rebecca, Myrna, Marianne, Kelly, Zena, Nan, Patt and Jack, Ralph, David, Sibyl, Cheryl, Linda, John, Nancy and Larry, Jonathan, Gerri, Monika,Karen and Barb.... And for my students who have bourne my harranguing and have transitioned into friends - Clare "the monkey woman", Patrick, Kale and the three Seans, Spencer, Pat, Norris, Amy, Corrie, Andrea, Anthony, Clayton, Laura, Erik, Cheryl...

It's a very, very good life when there are so many people to say "Hey, thanks" to.

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