“All of us have special ones who have loved us into being. Would you just take, along with me, ten seconds to think of the people who have helped you become who you are … Ten seconds of silence.” Fred Rogers
Last night, my 100 year old great Aunt Valetta died and as yet another member of that generation passes on, I am reminded of how much in debt I am to those who have loved me into being. I am reminded of my "Pop," Clarence Wilbur Coutant,who died when I was four but who taught me at a young age what it meant to be loved unconditionally and the power and beauty of imagination. My nanny, Gladiola Elizabeth Coutant, who was always there for me. She was the cool grandma. When she was in her mid-60s and managing an apartment complex in Decatur, GA, the teens flocked to her for advice and support. For my Grandpa Sisler, who died last year, and my Grandma Sisler, who is grieving the loss of her big sister today. For Elise Moss Simmons who inspired and at times prodded me into pursuing my calling to full time ministry and to seminary. For my mother and my father, my sister, and my brothers. For John Rutland and Dorothy Ann Webster, who took calls at odd hours when I didn't know what to do next and stood with me when I was ordained. For my husband, Craig, who has patiently supported me through 28 years of marriage and who has not only been the best friend and husband, but also a great father to our children. For my children, who have turned out great despite me. For Sherry, Nancy, Pat, the folks at Epworth who prayed me through seminary and my first years of ministry. For Jackie, Bivian, Diane, Becky, Greg, who've been my friends through so many changes and even in times when I must less than lovable. For the numerous clergy women who have mentored and inspired me. For the clergy men also! For . . . oh my goodness, I can't begin to name all of the folks who have loved me into being! (Now I understand the problem people winning awards have when they start to thank everyone who made their big moment possible.) . . . teachers, friends, cousins . . .
So in honor of all those who have loved me into being--THANK YOU!
Who are some of the people who have loved you into being?
Mr. Roger's Emmy Acceptance Speech