A letter came in the mail, and tucked in the letter, a gift. These things came from a couple who mean the world to me. Old and treasured family friends, contemporaries of my parents. I've known them since, what, ninth grade? And they are Good Folks.
How many Thanksgivings have our families celebrated together, over the years? I couldn't begin to count. My brother and I grew up with their kids. We swam in their pool. I admired them for their compassion and their civic-mindedness. I once, drowning in teenage anguish, crashed my car gently into the tree in front of their house. I wanted to die, but not really. So that was a safe tree, in case I got a little hurt. People who cared about me lived there.
I was fine, physically. My parents' car wasn't. Not sure about the poor tree but I think it's still standing.
This letter and the generous gift tucked inside make me feel a lot of feelings. Gratitude and love, most of all.
Here's the best part of all: "I have been reading your blog postings and am amazed at what you have gone through and yet there is a smile in your writing. You are (there's that word again) an amazing woman."
Thank you, my Dear DB!! I don't think I am amazing at all. I'm simply making the best of the cards we've been dealt and trying to remember that compared to a lot of other people's hands they are not too bad. A pair of deuces, maybe, or fives. Not close to a royal flush but much better than a random assortment of number cards that don't add up. Absolutely.
The Delaunay Hand
Not The Delaunay Hand
The way these friends reached out today does raise a question in my mind, which I've struggled with before: how much should I reveal in this blog? When is it just -- as Saskia and Ben would say -- TMI? I have blogged about being broke many times over the past year (and triumphed in some ingenious frugalities I've engaged in), but when people start sending checks I have to consider whether it's the right thing. Because the LAST thing I want is for anyone to read a plea in any of these revelations. I don't know anyone, really -- well, maybe just one or two people -- who are doing so well they can just cavalierly write a check to help out a friend.
But I am sure of one thing: the gift we received today was sent out of love.
Anyway, I write about our impecuniousness and other problems for a few reasons, none of which have to do with hoping for a handout:
- Writing about my challenges is therapeutic.
- Writing about adversity helps me locate my sense of humor about things (usually!).
- People need to know about the costs, to families, of disability.
- I think it helps others going through similar difficulties to see they are not alone.
- I love it -- LOVE IT -- when folks I don't know (and those I do) connect with me via this blog.
- And finally, as Mr. Sleary, the circus ringmaster, says so eloquently in Dickens's Hard Times, "The people mutht be entertained, Thquire!" If this blog is helping anyone procrastinate at work or at home, and maybe eliciting some smiles, then my job here is done.
I had a visit from my good fairy today, and it made me very, very happy.
I love you, D and H!!