The woman who started it all, my sister, and me.

When I was about fourteen years old, my mother, seven-year-old sister, and I drove downtown in Savannah to visit our favorite bookstore.  It was the afternoon of St. Patrick’s Day, a day for which Savannah is famous for drunken partying, and celebration that has little to do with the man who brought Christianity to Ireland.  The parade had finished, and there was very little traffic as my mother drove us through the cobblestone roads.

As we stopped at a stop sign, a teenager, who had obviously been drinking, stumbled across the street and drummed on our hood with both hands before stumbling across the street to the other side.  Although I laughed, my mother, who sounded as if she were going to cry, said, “That’s so sad.  That’s somebody’s baby.”

I’ve never forgotten the words.  Every person we meet, no matter how much pain they may cause, is somebody’s baby.  The people who were rejected by everyone, suffer deep yearnings because they simply want to be somebody’s baby.  Over every office or classroom I have, I put the letters “SB” to remind me that within every one of us is a child who simply wants to be acknowledged, loved, and validated.

Jeff Peeples-black-high-res