none seem adequate. I went to bed a week ago today and had no idea how I was going to make it financially. Or emotionally for that matter. DUers have offered help in the past and I've thanked each one and politely declined the offers. This time, I really had no choice.
Then on Monday morning, I log on to DU and see the fundraising thread. I was grateful and mortified at the same time. Now, publicly, I had to accept help. Something I'd never done.
The gifts I received over the past week were more than dollars. They were good wishes, prayers and hope. I learned what gratitude truly means and how good people really are. We all want to make it on our own in this world, but the truth is, we NEED one another. I hope that anyone who needs help reaches out for it. It's uncomfortable, it's humbling and it's very foreign to most of us. But I can tell you that I have found joy and gratitude I've never known in accepting the help of friends and total strangers.
I will thank each of you individually and privately. But I want all of you to know how much you mean to me and Lelapin. We are rich beyond our wildest dreams and those riches have nothing to do with money.
I woke up in my own bed with two cats curled up next to me, listening to the birds. We are all moved in but have yet to unpack a single box. The place is a nice as I remember and PeaceNikki showed up with her version of a "Welcome to Wisconsin" gift pack.
ZombieNixon and Lelapin drove up from Chicago. Dangerously Amused brought my grandmother's china and all the things I'd hauled to her house over the last couple of weeks. Then RL showed up...and we all went out to eat and laughed and talked.
I feel more at home here than I've felt anywhere in my life. I asked Lelapin how she felt here and she said "it's strange. It feels like home already."
to the place I lived all through elementary school. Lelapin and I are leaving early so we have time to drive around my old neighborhood, school and other haunts. I think it's been at least 15 years since I've been back. I want to see if the lake we skated on behind my old house is still there. If the shops in downtown are still there. I hope Lelapin doesn't mind being dragged down my memory lane...
I got a call from my 3rd grade teacher this morning. She worked with my cousin for years. She's coming down for visitation. I'm guessing every teacher we had (who's still alive) will be at the funeral home tomorrow. Feels very strange - going back to a time when I was young and had my whole life ahead of me. I was part of a "pair and a spare" since I had a twin sister and a younger sister. Lots of catching up to do after 35 years...
I miss Jimmy. The messages left on the funeral home site are wonderful testimonies to a man who was admired, respected and loved. May we all be so fortunate when our time here is over.
We're meeting OhioBlues and LoveOhioBlues for dinner afterwards.
Today, a beautiful fleece throw and a candle arrived. The card read "A Warm Hug From Everyone At DU Who Loves You." I'm speechless. I'm so very grateful. I'm so touched. Someone I've never met sent *me* a gift of warmth. I feel unworthy, as so many are struggling. I'm just vocal about it...
I also received the gift of a plane ticket in the fall to see a city I've always dreamed of seeing. In return, I now have one of the dearest, most stubborn, kind, tenacious and giving friends I've ever known.
Some of you have offered prayers, good wishes, and even money. I'm in awe of the generosity of the people here on DU.
Perhaps all the trials and struggles haven't been to wear me down, but force me to do something I rarely can do, and that is ask or accept help. I can give it freely, I just am unable to accept it.
So the miracles of the season and of life are the things to grow out of struggle and hardship. Those gifts of friendship, love and kindness. I see that now.
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