The Bank Teller

In second grade at St. Francis Xavier, after all the money I raked in from my first communion, I went to deposit my wad of cash from my 750 aunts and uncles into the savings account my parents made for me at First Federal Bank in my home town.

My mom and I were standing at the teller’s window, and this guy with a tie knot that was too big asked my mom what her occupation was.

My mom said, “I’m just a housewife.”

It was the ‘just’ that hit me.

I chimed in, “She’s my mother.”

He gave me that smirky, condescending look where he was really saying, “You get a gold star for figuring that out.”

I didn’t have the confidence or permission to explain what I meant, so I just pulled out my money and put it on the counter.

It’s taken a lot of years to really know what I was trying to tell that man…

A life.

You get many dozens of years to experience hundreds of treasured moments that profoundly move you, that inspire you, that reinvent you.

You have dear, cherished, caring friends that know the real you and massage you and fill you up at every harbor of your journey.

You live in many places that ground you, creating springboards for your possibilities and relationships.

You become part of many groups, and clubs and activities that are a comforting blanket to cook and express the rare and evolving you.

Near and far, you tour your world, forever enchanted at nature’s banquet of wonder and breadth.

You have many, many dreams of who you may be and where they may carry you.

But you have only one, only one — of maybe the most precious and elegant word in the world.


The word from where love and commitment and giving were born.


— Jimmy Dunne