Sometimes, when we’re lucky, life allows us to actually meet someone whose being truly inspires us. And sometimes, if we’re really lucky, that person becomes a part of our lives and uses their light to illuminate potential we were never able to see in ourselves. And sometimes, if we’re really, really lucky, that person becomes a North Star, a constant despite the space created by the changes in life, always with us. That person, for me, is Patricia Russo.
Pat and I met when we were young teachers, trying to make the world a better place one student at a time. At first I found it hard to believe that a person could be so smart, talented, creative, beautiful, loving, and kind, but she is, and in the most genuine and real way possible. As colleagues we shared ideas and laughs; as friends we shared dreams and tears. Pat became one of the biggest cheerleaders I’ve ever had in my life. She was the first of us to take a leap into a new career path, once again inspiring me and showing me the magic possible when you trust in your own wings.
I hope you have the luck to meet Pat in person, but if nothing else, after reading her book you will know her. You will know her light and her love, and you must know that it is true. All of it. She is rare, and she is beautiful, and she is constant. And I am all the better for knowing and loving her back.
I am forever grateful to Anna Jasper for the beautiful image of me above, that she captured many moons ago while we played together in Palm Springs. It is an image that I keep coming back to, and one that I love dearly. Thank you, AJ.