Meggie—my sky blue: I could fill this entire thank you with just the inside jokes we’ve shared, but I will try to craft something more eloquent for creativity’s sake. I am so eternally grateful for the space you have filled in my life; I could not have asked for a better thirteen-year companion. I look back on Bronner’s vacations and Art Prize trips as some of the best moments of my childhood, and I am fortunate that those moments were shared with one of the funniest, smartest, and hottest ladies I’ve ever met. It does not go unnoticed all the little ways in which you have been there for me the past four years, and I hope I have reciprocated that importance. Here is to actualizing that dream I once had of us in a nursing home, yelling at whomever to turn their tunes down. We don’t say this much because I think we both know it, but I love you heaps and bounds.
Rachel—my sage green: For my entire childhood, you were just a hop, skip, and a jump over the massive hill between our houses. Summer days were filled with walks to Ada under the blistering heat, and our arrival was celebrated by ice cream cones and the cool shade of the covered bridge. When we see one another—no matter how long we were away—something clicks as conversation rolls off our tongues like we never left. The days that we drive to school together are often the highlights of my week; our podcast-like commentary feeds my soul. I think you are just the coolest, and I am so thankful for you, queen.
Kate—my canary yellow: Kate, I would explain your presence in my life as a sparkling orb that encircles all the happiest moments. When we met at Girl Scout camp, our mutual hatred for the girl who stole our paint pens pushing us together, I knew that you were going to be who I clung to that week. Little did I predict that we would one-day galavant through the crowded school hallways together, arm-in-arm skipping like The Wizard of Oz. You are quite literally hilarious, and I could not ask for a more intelligent and radiant daughter. Team Fish-Clock forever.
Natalie—my plum purple: I still remember when blonde-haired Nat ran up to my sophomore lunch table babbling on about eating outside, and I will never regret choosing to follow when we all went with you. We have somehow managed to pack a lifetime of friendship into only a year, and I would not be writing this thank you note or be on staff if it were not for you pushing me towards my goals. You have a room-filling, dynamic presence that I cherish, and I absolutely adore you. Wait, are we about to kiss right now?
Ava and Jaren—my lime and pale pink: You are two of the sweetest, smartest, and most thoughtful kids I have had the pleasure of knowing. Thank you for crafting chalk drawings on my driveway and parading me through the woods on Halloween scavenger hunts. Your little acts of kindness fill my heart with a sense of joy, and I am so happy to be your neighbor.
The women in my family—all the colors in between: On the wall of my bedroom, dripping in fairy lights, lay some simple items that mean the world: an embroidery hoop on which “Nana Joan” is faintly etched, a framed image of my mother in her middle school theater days, a note my father composed about Nana Ingrid, and a photo taken over the summer in Boston. In this photograph, four of the most influential women in my life hug together. They are happy, the wind blowing in their hair as they smile at me, the one behind the camera. I’d like to think that all the women in my life, both those on Earth and my guardian angels, were in this photo as well, and I hope that each woman knows how indebted to them I am. You are my rainbow, and I would be lost without you.