Thank you to all the women in my life

As male-dominated as our society is, it owes an immense debt to the great women whose deeds have been memorialized such as Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Harriett Tubman, and Frida Kahlo. As well as current trailblazers like Malala Yousefzai and Kamala Harris. The world we have today would be nothing without them.

While reflecting on Women’s History Month, a thought came to me: Why stop at celebrating just the women who have gone down in history for their accomplishments? All women should be recognized this month for their contributions to the world.

I may not be able to give appreciation to all the women on earth, but I can start with those who have graced me with their presence and thank them for everything they’ve done.

To my mom

Thank you mom for your hand in raising me. Even when times were hard you made it feel like they weren’t.

You bought me toys and video games when you could barely afford them. We’ve laughed and cried together more times than I can remember.

It feels almost like yesterday we were driving to and from places, singing along to music in your convertible Volkswagen Beetle with the broken roof. If I were to write about everything I am grateful to you for, that could be its own piece.

To my grandma

Thank you to my grandma Barbara, for being possibly the wisest and most compassionate person I’ve known. Your love for me has stayed consistent my whole life, from when you were taking me to the playgrounds in Marin, to when you were talking me through some of the painful parts of my early adulthood.

Coming to Long Beach has been one of the most fulfilling experiences of my adulthood, but I sometimes get sad that I can’t drive to your house and cook you dinner or just talk over a Giants game (or an A’s game on a good day). I’ll never get tired of you calling me “my guy.”

To my aunts

To Heidi, for being another person I can always come to with my problems and for letting me stay in your home. Whether it was just to visit or to watch your house and your dog Hendrix, while you went on your motorcycle trips. I am so glad we have gotten closer in recent years and you have been an essential figure in my adulthood.

To Nadine, for all the effort you put into the family. Without your management of the kitchen at grandma’s house, I doubt our dinners together would be as good. You also helped me move into my dorm and drove with me all the way from Northern California to Long Beach.

To Laurie for being supportive of me all the way from Minnesota. Due to that distance, we may not speak as much but I am just as happy to have you in my life.

To Jen, for your constant smile and the happiness you’ve brought to my uncle Christopher’s life and to our family. You and Christopher have done such a fantastic job raising my little cousins, Lukas and Oliver. Even before you two were married you were a glowing presence at all the family gatherings.

To my cousin

Thank you to my cousin Angela for being the closest thing to a sister I will ever have. Who would have thought that after all our arguments growing up together we would be this close now?

It’s hard for me to believe you’re going to be graduating high school in a year but I just know you’re going to do amazing things.

To my stepmother

Thank you to my stepmother Patti for all the happiness and support you bring to my father and me. I love seeing you two go on your adventures together. For sitting down with me and helping fill out my FAFSA forms. You’re also an excellent baker and I am so grateful to have had my last two birthday cakes made by you.

To my caregivers

Thank you to Jinx for being an integral part of my life for six years. Not only were you there for all of my football games and swim meets but you were also driving me to and from school or practice before I got my license.

Thank you to Deedee for teaching me how to cook and bake, something that has become my favorite hobby as an adult.

One of my favorite memories with you that comes up often is when we made tortillas from scratch together. Perhaps most importantly, thank you for being a friend and motorcycle companion for my aunt Heidi.

Thank you to all my teachers and professors for helping me prepare for college and my career. I would especially like to thank Anne Belden, the advisor for my community college publication for inspiring me to be a journalist.

To my publication

Thank you to all the women at the Daily Forty-Niner, including our advisor Barbara. I am so lucky to be able to work with and learn alongside such talented individuals and I am excited to see where your careers take you. Hopefully, I’ll be able to work alongside some of you in the professional field.

I urge everyone to thank the women of their lives. Let them know they matter to you, whether it’s your mom, your significant other, or even your friend. I wouldn’t want to think about where I would be without these special people and I imagine most others wouldn’t either.

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