In my life
so few people have lasted
in presence or effect,
but I'm not bothered or bitter,
just appreciative of what remains,
of those I hold on to.

At eight I didn't see
anything strange about seeing a shrink,
I doubt I even knew the word.
But as I grew up and saw my own oddness
reflected in the looks of those around me
and got hurt by my inability to fit
with friends and family,
she helped to keep me from falling apart,
from losing myself
when it would have been so easy
to give in to what others wanted me to be.
And it took years
for me to see the pay-off of this strength,
but now I know what she helped give me,
my own self assuredness,
is rare and irreplaceable.

Through her I gained a mentor,
wise an inspiring.
People break so easily when times are hard,
but there are a few who take from it
the desire to create joy in others.
From her I learned,
not only how to piece words together
and how to find beauty in the littlest things,
but how to stand behind my feelings,
my point of view.
She re-built in me
a confidence that had worn away years before,
a belief in my own abilities.

Without them, there is so much
I would have given up on,
so many opportunities I would have let pass by.
Their importance reaches across
the years and miles between us,
it ignored the absence
and leaves me all the better for having known them.