I’m writing this ridiculously early – Wednesday evening, in fact – because we have a dear friend due to be staying for the weekend, and I might not be around much. But I cannot let this go; this week, the one HUGE thankful which happened, which is also Ten Things and utterly wonderful and *twinklysparklyperfect* in every way…needs to be shared.
The light is dimming, the balcony door is open, and a gentle, night breeze is wafting in, bringing with it the muted sounds of occasional traffic, and the muffled thuds and calls of some kids playing football in the park across the street. The remnants of sunset are sketched across a sky which is rapidly fading from forget-me-not blue to the paler, greyer colour of a favourite blue top which has been washed too many times. Husby is tinkering quietly at the table with (whatever it is men do when they tinker) and I sit here fresh and clean and, aching in the good way from pilates, bathed in the glow from my screen, utterly content. And every so often, just to check it’s still real and still glorious, I turn my head and look towards the end of the sofa, where there is a HUGE card, containing messages of friendship and love from around the world.
Receiving this was quite literally the BEST moment of my entire week. Perhaps of my entire month. My heart has not stopped being full, and I still can’t quite believe the lengths to which these dear people went to show me they care. I love them all. So let me tell you about it, and share the *twinklysparklyINCREDIBLYGLITTERYgoodness*
It was a tired end of the day, and I had given up and gone to bed for a pre-dinner nap, when the intercom buzzed. It couldn’t be the pizza already (it was an unexpected but wonderful night in together, and neither of us could be bothered to cook) but I hauled myself out of bed to answer, and learned it was a delivery man. Lovely man, in his brown uniform with his little “Can you sign here, please?” machine which only ever generates half a signature – little did he know that he was bearing a gift which had TRAVELLED, and which contained more love than I thought it possible to pack into one place.
For me? From AMERICA?! (my eyes got huge) I hastened him away and returned to my bed, intrigued. The parcel was from Sandy, but one layer in, I got to a BIG sign, telling me “STOP! READ THIS!” – a card was attached beneath, requesting that I please read it before proceeding. And then the card (beautiful, shinysparkly geometric patterns) told me that there were nine people who *desperately* wanted to know how this went, so would I pretty please vlog myself opening it. My heart began to beat faster…what on earth could this be? Who were the Nine, and what were they up to?
So I vlogged myself opening the most incredible, wonderful, been-around-the-world, all-from-love package, complete with the wrappings each person used, and stuffed with “2lb of glitter”, INCREDIBLE box of one, giant ‘Thank You’ card, and an overwhelming amount of love and glitter. And then Youtube had a ‘moment’ and deleted the entire thing. So what you get is my second attempt. I’m so sorry it isn’t the first…the first one was *perfect* but also very long (there was no WAY this one was going to come in at under three minutes!). ENJOY! And then come back here for my thankfuls…because for these, I am truly, utterly, HUGELY thankful. And you (and they) should know.
It began in Singapore, then went to California, then to Missouri; Indiana; Massachusetts; Rhode Island (where it got wet, and also got flown into the air by a hawk, who thought it was WAY cool and wanted to join in); Maryland; Virginia; and finally to Florida before being glittered a million and sent to me.
1. Michelle. Thank you, firstly for the poem! It made me giggle and I was delighted by just how very pertinent it was. I love our little morning (my morning) catch-ups on Facebook, and the way it sets me up for going off into the working day. Thank you always for your prayers and your support. You’re a very caring person, and I have huge respect for your stoicism, your take on life, your poetry, and your determination to always seek the good, even when the good is so hard to find. I also love our VidChats, and your sweet, quirky ways, and seeing the top of your head and hearing you laugh. And I’m always appreciative of how sensitive you are to the needs of others and the lengths you go to, to accommodate them.
2. Kristi (K2). I heard from a little bird that this was YOUR idea! I shall have to wait for you to confirm whether or not this is the case, but I am *always* thankful for your kindness, your staunch encouragement, your inspiration (and your insistence that I inspire you), and your gentle determination that I should learn to view myself more kindly. I also really enjoy getting to see your eye for beauty in the photographs you take, and I’ve enjoyed being spurred on with the running, by seeing your involvement in the many runs you seem to have done.
3. Dyanne. I have to say (again), your handwriting is *beautiful* and I’m very impressed by that. And as to ‘thank you’ not being enough – back atcha! There truly aren’t the words to express how thankful I am to have your friendship, or how grateful I am that you have come to my rescue so many times, with support and care and songs about ants, and have done your utmost to stop me drowning when life has been almost too much. You truly are one of my most vital Lifeboat people, and I heart you HUGE. There is no-one I enjoy stalking more from my Idaho Potato-Farmer van-with-the-tinted-windows-and-candy. And I *do* like your cat. No pretense. I think she’s utterly adorable and am very pleased to enjoy her from a safe distance.
4. Christine…you were IN MY HOUSE! I still can’t get over your incredible secret-keeping skills. Seriously…I had NO IDEA! You know that yours is one of the first I fell in bloglove with, and I have only ever been thrilled to pieces that from my dorky fangirling beginnings, you were generous enough to accommodate me as a friend, and when I think back to the things in between, until now, when I’ve met you in person, hugged you and sat across from you, incredulous that it was *really happening*…my dear friend, you mean *so* much to me; you offer such hope and such humour and are always ready to encourage and offer sound advice. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
5. Zoe (and Skips). I feel like you ‘get’ me, and to an extent, I you. I adore that we have WhatsApp now, and how wonderfully enriched my days are when I hear from you. I love that you made my whole family laugh hysterically. I still *adore* how you say “schnookered” beyond any logical explanation, and I am super-hugely-enormously thankful that not only do you Bard with me, you also take time to share your thoughts, your theories and your wisdom with me. And you should know that when you return that goofy ol’ hardwired heart…that’s SoulDeep.
6. Clark. Mr Y-Chrome in black-and-white, who once purported not to be able to write Feels, but then surprised and honoured me with HUGE Feels on the intro to the post I wrote you…you are quite simply a star. A constant, guiding force, you with your doctrine and your uncanny ability to think through a situation, understand the possibilities, and then explain them to me in a way which makes sense. Add to that a quite carefully hidden (but awfully sweet and thoroughly appreciated) dose of my being ‘a Younger One you Look Out For’, and I can only say how entirely happy I am to know you, and to bear the name of Downspring.
7. Sarah. I *love* the kiss, and certainly take it as part-owed for the one when we FOR REAL meet. Which we will. Because you’re awesome and I think we’re friends for life now you sent me that photo of your ankles (that was the deal, right?). Added to which, you’re still my hero for not only meeting Glennon, but for ever-so-sweetly name-dropping me to her (I’m still in shock she knew who I was…) and for sending me photos of the two of you together, which absolutely MADE MY DAY and made me go all *squeeeee*ish and so full-to-the-brim that you included me in that. I also think you’re wonderful for bringing me new words – I love that – and for always being kind, but never afraid to challenge. I do enjoy your attitude – you seem ready to take on anything, and you inspire me, in that regard. I am HUGELY excited for when we meet for real 🙂
8. Kristi. Dude! I’ve been sat here ten minutes with a blank space next to your name because there aren’t the words. You were one of the first people I felt safe with in this ol Blogosphere, and in addition to being a *fabulous* writer (and now, WOW – orator (seriously, look at Kristi’s vid for Listen To Your Mother…it’s MINDBLOWINGLY good)), you have a seriously strong grasp of all the aspects of the sensible, the ever-so-slightly-nuts, the pissed off, the despairing, the joyful and all the things and seasons in between that you’ve supported me and been there with me through. You have saved me, more than you know, and you have been my rescuer in some of my darkest moments, and for that, I cannot thank you enough. And I LOVE that you wrote huge all over the blank page (seriously, WHY leave it?! – those rule-followers are nuts!) and that you’re such fun to know, as well (I’m still getting mileage out of the builder joke you showed us), and that you snark and share wonderful moments and that you utterly always belong in this. I do love you and you are my favourite (cos I’ve decided it’s okay to have several favourites because you’re each my favourite in a different way, which makes it only kind of the same, but also absolutely stand-out-alone) and thank you HUGE for you.
9. Sandy. My Darling ‘Merican, with your EPIC glitteriness (my house is still sparkling and I LOVE IT…don’t even care! I’m keeping it because it reminds me of this and of you and of my friends and the amazing lengths you all went to to show me your appreciation and care) and your kismet, and the way I’m so happy we belong. Because we do, and I’m now and shall always be thankful for that. I think you were the first person who really did with me, what I have done with others – that is to say, to rock up unannounced and decide to be friends. And I am honoured and humbled and beyond happy that you did. But you know that. And now we are SisterWives, too…which makes me ALSO very happy. But I think happiest is that I know I am safe with you, and that you understand and are patient and that it’s okay it’s taken so long to feel I can say I love you out loud and properly and meaningfully, without getting all *how I get* about these things…those are huge thankfuls, and I know that you’re truly in my corner and amongst those who are generously helping me to become a more acceptable human. And whatever else, there will always be #KissingTheFrog and that night we spent together…
10. SBOR (BOSR) 3.1