You also are doing things to make this a not-disaster for me. Thank you to dimitra for sending me a book I really wanted but didn't feel I could justify buying for myself, thank you noirem for opening your house to me, and thank you a million times over to varina8 for sending me the quilt your grandmother made.
A little more about this: it's a beautiful thing covered in tulips, and I slept under it when I came to visit Seattle last summer. I oohed and aaahed over it and in one of the nicest moments of my time with Irene she showed me all of the quilts she has from her grandmother and shared with me their stories and a lot about the history of her family. I was good and did NOT slip it into my suitcase, but appreciated that it was just as special as I thought it was as I sat there, night after night, admiring the stitching and the individuality of each of the squares.
And now it's been gifted to me and for the fifty years or so I think I've got in me, I'll be admiring it on a near daily basis. I feel so lucky. When I realized what had shown up in that package on Saturday morning, my eyes welled up with tears (I had only been up for about 5 minutes so my brain was soft). It was a really incredible gift and the fact that Irene had reached out to me so hard to let me know I was not forgotten or unwanted during this holiday season meant so much to me. (I know this may sound like self-pitying and whinging, but I feel like, as a woman in the middle of the big D and as someone who many see as "a bad wife" I'm feeling like a major social outcast today. And it's not just my imagination about the pariah status, even though it's, to be honest, not universal, the people that have made me feel that way hurt me heaps and heaps.)
Thank you guys so much. It's been a hard year, but when I look back on it in a moment of clarity (when I'm not feeling so broken I can't get my head up high enough to look over the curb), I realize that so many of you have been trying to be there and support me all year long, and you can't really put that it a box and mail it, but I know that's the gift I've been getting from all of you, and I'm so very, very grateful.
One more day until the solstice. Bundle up when you go out, it's 18 degrees in London this morning, but all over the world I can feel hearts shining with warmth and love.