Tuesday, January 20, 2015


From the summer of 1992 to the summer of 2009, I could count on this: Steve Damm would tell me all the time that I was beautiful.

I didn't always believe it, but even when I was doubtful, his words made me confident. This dreamy, smart, creative, hilarious man thought that I -- all freckled, bespectacled and curly-haired -- was beautiful.

It's been five and a half years since Steve could say those words to me, and there are some days that, good gracious, I wish I could hear them from him again. Like today, when the effects of whatever upper respiratory virus I have, combined with the aftereffects of my nighttime so-you-can-sleep medicine, make me look, well, less-than-close-to-beautiful.

But what I really know, what I can still count on in 2015 is this: Steve Damm wasn't always talking about my outward appearance. And, more importantly, we are all beautiful.

We are intricate, complex creatures capable of amazing work. We care for one another. We create music and art and poetry. We laugh and dance, sing and run. We've launched rockets and satellites into space. We question minutiae and the meaning of life.

We think so much of this world that we continue to create children, then we work to make life better for those children.

For a while, I was worried that without Steve Damm telling me, "You're beautiful," I would eventually start to forget. Maybe he had told me so many times that my bucket was full, but over the years, without him adding to the bucket, it would run empty.

I've since discovered that my confidence isn't rooted solely in Steve's words. My confidence comes from knowing that we are all beautiful. We are all blessed with another day on earth. Each one of us has a purpose and someone who needs us.

"I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. 
Wonderful are your works; that I know very well."
  (Psalm 139:14)

Steve and Tyra, New Year's Eve, at the dawn of 1993

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