A Million Thank Yous

This is for you. The endless ‘I love yous,’ the hugs when I needed them most, the ears that listened when no one else did, and the million things that you did to make me feel like I actually had a place on this Earth. I could tell you a thousand times ‘thank you’ but I know it would never be enough, I could tell you a thousand times that ‘I love you’ but I know it could never repay what you did for me, I could tell you a thousand times that I’m grateful but somehow I know it could never be the same as your love for me. And so this, this is for you, all of you.

I could say I’m thankful for everything You have done for me but I know it could never be enough. You laid down everything, including your life to make mine possible. You saw that I had a future even when I didn’t. So, I am thanking You for being there when I thought I had no one, for Your hugs on long nights when the sobs kept racking my body, and for giving me a million second chances when I didn’t think I deserved one. Thank You for making me feel loved and helping me to understand how beautiful I am. Lastly, thank You for helping me on this never ending trail called life and I can’t wait to see where the rest of the trail takes us. By the way, I love you with my entire being. This one's for You, God.  

I could say how much I love your crazy smile and the way your snort fills up the entire room, but I think my face might say otherwise sometimes. I love your purple locks and how much you remind me of ‘Mal’ from Disney’s Descendants. I love the way you listen to every single detail of my life and you always look like you care. I love the fact that I can call you at three in the morning and I know you will always pick up. I love how we had a big fight in the eighth grade and stopped talking for months but we were able to look back on it and realize how stupid we were. I love how passionate you are about the arts so much that you did an entire presentation on how sports get more money than art does. I love how dedicated you were to get your Gold Award and finally you did. I am thankful for all the hugs, laughs (lots of laughs), and the tears and stress we have shared. You make everywhere feel like home. This one’s for you, “Lily Billy.”

I could never imagine a life without either of you. You bring endless joy, laughter, and love to my heart every time I see you. You made me realize why I want to help children in the future and why I want to have as many kids as I can in the future. Your laughs make me melt every single time I hear them. I love the big smiles that encase your littles faces when I tell you that I have ice cream and a surprise for you. I love the way you get when you realize that I am taking you the park and we’re going for french fries after. I love the way you ask for mac and cheese, hot dogs, and pizza every single time I ask you what you want for dinner. I love the way you don’t pay attention to anything around you when you are watching Youtube on your phones. I love how you sing at the top of your lungs when we go for a walk. I love you even when you are being rude, in a bad mood, and don’t even want to talk to me because I know that I will see your beautiful smiles after you’re done being grumpy. I love you more than you could ever know, you hold the key to my heart. This one’s for you, Gabby and James.

I could never repay you for all the sacrifices you made to make a life possible here. I could never tell you how thankful I am for the long hours you work, the hours you spent on your hands and feet working just so we can have food on the table, the crap you took and take from your bosses but you knew it was the only way you would get paid. I could never say ‘thank you’ enough, because finally I understand what it meant to leave your entire family, knowing that you might never see them again. I could never ‘thank you’ enough knowing that you hurt when the holidays come around because we can’t see the rest of our family and don’t worry you’re not the only one who aches around the holidays. I love you even you yell at me because I knew you were doing it because you had done this before and were trying to protect me. I love you even though you struggled to understand what I have gone through and I know that you are trying your best. I love you when I eat your home-cooked food because it reminds me of my original home and I love you when you call and we end up talking for hours on end. I love it when you tuck me in at night because you miss me being a kid. I love you even when we fight and you’re irritating as fudge, because I know that senioritis is hitting you incredibly hard. I love seeing how hard you work in school because I know that you want to get somewhere in life and know that I will always be on your team, even if I don’t say it often. I love you even when you don’t think I do. You are my everything. This one’s for you, My Family.

I could never say ‘thank you’ for being a second family to me. I could never say how grateful I am that God put you into my life and made me see that I have extra people to count on. I want to thank you for answering my calls when I needed someone to talk to. I want to thank you for always giving me good advice even though I might never ask for it. I want to say thank for making me feel like part of your family even when I barely knew you. I love you for helping me see that change is scary, but it can great if we just wait it out and look for the best in every situation. I love you for making every birthday feel amazing (even though I don’t like celebrating it) and getting me the best presents. I love the fact that you always make me laugh and even though we can both be on our phones and not say a single word, I just love being in your presence. I love the fact that you made me like rap music, because I never listened to it until I met you. I love that you always make the weirdest jokes and have the funniest facial reactions and it’s always in the strangest of times too. I love that you let me make fun of you and know that I am never serious about any of the jokes I make about you and I love that you helped me move on and see that other things are possible in life. I love you and your goofy face and your smile when I come home to visit; and I love your hugs and your amazing childish personality. I love you for making me feel at home every time I come over and helping me get through some of the hardest times of my life. This one’s for you, The Duran Family.

I can't thank God enough for placing such amazing people into my life, because it would never be enough. I thank you for being “my only friends here” and for making this school feel like home. I thank you for understanding the hell I go through every single day of this year and listening to all the endless nonsense that can come out of my mouth sometimes. I thank you for making me feel welcome on this campus, because without you I think I might still be eating myself into a food coma in my dorm room. I thank you for making me feel confident to go to the gym by myself and realizing that in order to become my best self I need to put the work in. I thank you for letting me make fun of you everyday and letting me watch you make tofu and try to make rice in the lounge and letting me experience laughter every single day and hang out in your room almost everyday. I thank you for the endless laughter and the stupid stuff we talk about sometimes while sitting on the endless plush that we call my bed and understanding how I can’t muster up enough courage to tell him how I really feel. I love you guys even though I might never say it and I appreciate and every single one of you each in a different way. I love you for actually making me feel welcome in your dorms and for your roommates being exceptionally wonderful and amazing. You are my home away from home. This one’s for you, Isela, Nallely, and Heysel. ​



With Unconditional Love,



All photos are courtesy of the author.