On June 17, 2007, I started this blog with this first post. It was a collection of thank-you's I needed to give to so many people who helped me along the way to BEGINNING this journey. Now that this part of my journey is over and I am back in St Louis, I feel the need to write a new list of thank-you's, to show my gratitude to those who have loved me and helped me through this year so graciously. So, in no particular order...
Nancy--Thank you for being my 'mom' this year; for yelling at my landlord and the electric company on multiple occasions, for holding my hand through Weight Watchers meetings and the services I was so nervous to sing this year. Thank you for the hugs and encouragement. Thank you for being YOU and for loving all of us the way you did. I will miss you and I hope you'll keep in touch.
Judi--I have to admit, that when I left for Israel, one of my biggest fears was that I'd get stuck with a voice teacher who wouldn't speak a lick of English and our communication would be so bad that I'd want to give up singing entirely and run home and hide. Luckily, from the moment I heard that kind British accent over the telephone, my fears were instantly calmed and I was confident we'd work well together. I've already thanked you, I know, but I just can't thank you enough for being there for me, listening to me complain about the program on occasion, and giving me back my confidence as a singer. You are the best and you will be missed.
Dave and Gal--There are no words to describe how incredible you both are, and how you have truly changed my life for the better. There is no way I could have lost my 73.9lbs (thus far!) without you--I dedicate this chunk of my weight loss to both of you, and you will always have a place in my heart and in my soul as I continue to live this healthy lifestyle. THANK YOU. I will continue to send prayers, love, good energy and anything positive I can muster your way. Give kisses and love to Dahlia and soon, to Tikva, and keep giving that baby girl everything she needs to thrive. I'm excited to sing with her--loud and strong and from the belly--someday soon :)
Eli--Thank you for being your brilliant self, and for believing in my talents and abilities even when I wasn't so sure. Thank you for teaching me humility and strength and for showing me how to be truly Jewish and human. It has been an honor and a pleasure working with you, and I look forward to seeing you and learning many more precious lessons in the future.
Rabbi Franken--I can't tell you what a pleasure it was to see you 3 times in Israel this year. I will always remember hanging out with you in J'lem and singing with you on Shabbat when you were leading the trip in January. Thank you for always taking the time to think of me and make sure I was included and invited wherever you were. I wish you the best of luck at your new pulpit in Boston--we will all miss you at Temple Israel! Please keep in touch and come visit the Big Apple!
The Sanger Family--I am lucky to have so many people on both sides of my family who all love me and cheer for me and do everything they can to help me. But all of you have gone above and beyond your duties as aunt, uncle, and cousins and have helped to make this year so special for me. Thank you for everything--for sending me clothes and presents, for helping me with taxes and apartment searching and taking care of the little things. Thank you for asking all the right questions, for cheering me on, and for loving me like your own daughter and sister. I love you all and I am so lucky to have you.
Nicole--We were so lucky to have you as our downstairs neighbor and friend. I will always remember our window-to-mirpeset chats, Yahtzi games, and dinners together. Thank you for everything you've done, and for always having the right amount of chocolate in your apartment to fulfill our chocolate cravings. You continue to amaze me with your ability and talents--please remember how special you are and how much you have to offer this world. I know I am going to hear great things from Nicole "Noa Tzippora" Roberts.
"Shutafah", "Stacy", "Woman", "Achoti", Steph--I knew from the second I talked to you on the phone last April that we were going to be good roommates. I had no idea, however, that we would become such good friends and sisters this year. There is no way in hell I could have made it through this year without you being my support system, laughing buddy and cleaning lady (haha.) You are an amazing, strong, talented, intelligent and incredible woman, and I hope you know how much you've meant to me this year and how I will always remember the times we had. Together, we survived 12B Lincoln and a YEAR in ISRAEL, and I wouldn't have wanted to survive either with anyone else. Love you.
To my family and friends outside of Israel, thank you for thinking of me, consistently reading this blog and adding comments, putting up with talking to me via my terrible Skype connection, sending emails, postcards, and letters, coming to St Louis over winter break to see me, pulling me through my worst ruts while I was in Israel, and for all the other little things that are too numerous to mention. I love you guys, and you were right along with me on this journey the whole time.