From the time I was a small child – full of hurt – I knew that what I hoped to do with my life was to help others not have to suffer those same hurts. But as I grew, I continued to hurt – and came no closer to understanding how to accomplish that goal. Over the past two years my life has changed so much. I have grown a lot and worked hard, and smiled and cried. I have believed and doubted and loved and been loved. I have been praised and been judged. But mostly, I have been helped – by SO many people. People who I will love forever, and others I have never met. Along the way have been times that have been wonderful, and there have been times that have hurt so badly. There have been times I have imagined the stars, yet still been too keenly aware of all those years of the shell in the hole, in the tunnel under dark clouds. That is a place I never want to go back to – but am still haunted by. But what spurs me on isn’t the wishes I have for me – it’s more the wishes I have for all of you. I grew up without people who believed in me. But you have helped me realize that you do, that many of you do. And more even than letting myself down, I don’t want to let you down – those of you who have invested your love and concern in me. I have struggled again lately – not so much for me – but for those goals. Not clearly seeing the path toward achieving them has been so frustrating. When I have a direction – I can work – I can slog through the mud, climb (figuratively) tall mountains. But not having the understanding of how to get from where I am to achieving that goal has just been eating at me. As I said this morning – I have prayed, I have researched, I have tried to learn, but I still felt stymied. I should have known that what I needed to do is to again reach out to all of you. They say it takes a village to raise a child – and I admit to still being one in the raising. But I have every hope that for every small effort that has been given to help me, I can somehow someday multiply it tenfold in helping others. So much love to all of you who have been that village for me.