Dear Mom and Dad,

This is my last article for Pipe Dream, and I’ve decided to make it an ode to you.

Because without you, I wouldn’t be here. I would have never descended the Union stairs into the dungeon that is the Pipe Dream office my freshman year only to emerge four years later having discovered something I love.

So one day, when your grandchildren are whining over the profusion of hand-me-down clothes and Easy Mac dinners, they’ll probably have my journalist’s salary to thank, and I’ll have you, for supporting me all the while.

Just kidding. Kind of.

The list of things I have you to thank for can’t be squeezed into a 500-word column. Incredibly, it goes beyond sheltering me and clothing me and feeding me and educating me and loving me.

Dad, so many of the things that I see beauty in, I see because of you — baseball, literature, Springsteen and the overlooked little city where we both grew up.

You taught me everything I know about kindness, and how to be fearless in the face of criticism when goodness and justice are at stake.

Mom, you’ve instilled in me an appreciation for loyalty and love, the two things you’re best at and what I’ve come to value most in a person. I can’t think of anyone who I’d want on my side more than you, and you’ve been there since day one, always as my biggest fan.

You work harder, laugh harder and love harder than anyone I know, and you’ve taught me pretty much everything I know about anything. If I’m half the woman you are one day, I’ll be content.

I had the idea to dedicate this column to both of you because when I first started thinking of all the lessons I’ve learned and the advice I hoped to pass along, I realized that most of it at least started with you.

Dad, as I sit here pecking away at this, I wish I had spent more time on the Mavis Beacon typing program you gave me. And sometimes, when I’m trying to listen to people talk, I start to wish I listened to you when you told me to turn my music down.

And Mom, pretty much everything you ever told me has been correct. Feel free to neglect bringing this up the next time we have an argument.

As sports editor of Pipe Dream, I can tell you that the reason I love sports is because they evoke passion — both immense joy and heartbreaking disappointment. You pour your heart and soul into a team, and if what you get back is some measure of happiness, some level of enjoyment, then you’re doing it right.

For the past four years, I’ve poured my heart and soul into Pipe Dream, and I’ve gotten back more than I could ever imagine.

Pipe Dream and what we do here, it’s a passion for me, and one I wouldn’t have been able to discover alone. So, Mom and Dad, thank you. It’s meant the world.

Love always,