So it started when I was seven,
shaky voice reading scripture and
again when I was seventeen
trying to pronounce “Gethsemane”

Back to seven, slurping up ice cream at
sunny Sundae Sundays
and seventeen, sucking back noodles in
the sanctuary

Because nothing’s really changed at all, has it?

You saw me through my crying phase,
my awkward phase,
my social justice phase
but your faces never changed

“So what are you doing next year, Sarah?”
“Well, I’ll let you know as soon as I figure that out…”

And that same little girl who coloured
pictures of Jesus with Janet and Diane
is that same little girl who never tried to explain
anything so well as when she tried to tell you
why this man should be a minister

“You see, I talked to him, and he listened”

And while I was spread so thin I was
close to snapping I was
running marathons and
writing exams and
working at McDonald’s, I
never had to wonder who or where or what I was
because who and where and what I was was always here

And I would
drag myself out of my best friend’s basement,
squinting in the sun, come to church in
old jeans and a Frenchy’s extra-large men’s plaid shirt
because we all knew that that’s not what matters
and it never did

Come to choir practice late and forget my music in my
brother’s car again and all I would hear was
“oh no, that’s fine, you can have my copy”

And everything I did I connected with you, I played
Bob Dylan at Berwick fundraisers, I ran
5 hours 43 minutes and 2 seconds for
Missions and Services

You sent me into Halifax and St. John’s and
Vancouver’s downtown East side, and I’ve never
had my eyes so wide open

I know they tell us in school, but you really
can’t see how lucky you are until you’re
surrounded by those that aren’t

And you might not know this but
I mow the lawn in the summer, you
almost cured me of my fear of spiders by
forcing me to cuddle up to the
freaky swollen monsters that hang off the walls every August

And you might not have seen it but you
got me through breakups and breakdowns and bad bad decisions

Even though I still listen to music with
horribly ungodly lyrics, even though I’m
never more than three steps away from my cell phone, even though
I don’t listen to my parents nearly as much
as they’d like me to,

I’ve grown up in you
because I couldn’t have grown up
without you

And for that
I just wanted
to thank you.