Before you, there was me. No longer looking for love, on my way to becoming an architect instead of a struggling artist and sometime poet. Tired of dating, I went back to college, taking comparative religion, urban planning and design, astronomy, feeling out of place as a single mother.

Before you, there was me. Barely speaking with my father due to choices on my part that in hindsight were dreadful. Ironically, as Chairman and full professor of Math and Computer Science, his philosophy with students was fail, make mistakes, try crazy solutions. He refused to pass football players just so they could play. He didn't preach the same at home. Nothing less than 100%.

Before you, there was me. With one daughter, not planning more children, let alone marriages, dreaming of designing a glass building. Cleaning an existing small river to flow through under glass bridges. Allowing birds, butterflies, frogs, fish, turtles, moss and native wildflowers to be within and without. I wanted the sun, moon and stars inseparable.

Before you, there was me. Laughing and living, being with people but feeling lonely. Alone, liking my own company although no family, friends or lovers understood. I had no telephone, used a wringer washer, hanging laundry outside. Various cats came and went but never more than four at once. I was wild but responsible or so I believed.

Before you, there was me. Thirty years later, I regret not thanking you for loving me, my daughter, healing the rift with my father, giving me two incredible sons I love beyond measure, for the times we walked in Nature, the night long talking after making love. We made this house a home and like my desire to have the sun, moon and stars inseparable, you and me will always be.