I know I left folks hanging on how the rest of Rachel's visit went, but it was a bit weird (of course) and everything else needs my attention a bit more. I've got pics to go through, still, so there's bound to be more on it before the end of the week.

Right now, though, I'm wanting to put down some of the ponders I've had today on everything going on and what has been good about it. LTDI denial, UI wait, Will's situation, expensive piece of junk in driveway, daily needs threatened...it's a lot to keep in mind all the time, especially since I have to keep working on all of it. No time to forget what's going on, no ability to convince myself otherwise. Which is good. Ignoring, avoiding, and denying challenges and problems just makes things worse.

So, good things. Enumerating them makes everything shine with a different light. This is long, but I'm not going to cut. I apologise but I'm not sorry, if that makes sense. I hope after reading you can understand why I'd choose to go back to that approach for this.

The incandescent souls from Seattle have been such a deep comfort in all of this. There are only a few of you remaining to me, but your love, support, and tough words have kept me on my feet and ready to fight. And I just found out today Cheryl and Jordan are going to come visit some time around X-mas, which sent today's mood on a happy tangent. I miss all of you so, so, so much. Thank you for calling, for being there when I call, for understanding how much I suck at phone, for sharing your lives, for being who you are, for everything that is YOU. One day soon I'll be able to help you, to be more of an active friend, to be less of a scared tree critter peeking out between the leaves ever so often.

My TX peoples, folks who know the tradition of matter-of-fact but gentle handling of this kind of chaos, folks who have little patience for those who give up, people who know what can be accomplished if you just stick to it and understand that I have the same values. Not that this is absent in others! It's just a special flavour, a specific touch, that sends it all home in a way that nothing else can. Texan mind meld. Brilliant LJ minds and the lucky associations I have here in person. That almost-Southern insistence on doing the right thing, taking care of your business...it keeps me moving. I have a family of neighbours, people who rely on me to help them and make me allow others to help me in return. It's a small family but a tight one. They get me through more than I can even begin to explain.

And there are so many people who have given me inspiration, comfort, and direction in states and countries I've never even visited, friends whom I've never seen in person, people who have taken a moment from their own lives to be kind to a virtual stranger. One day, one day, one day - all of you are in that, too. It seems remote sometimes, it might even seem like just words to some of you, but I mean it with all my heart, I mean it and have the lists to prove it ;]

Over the course of every plate crashing to the ground, I've learned that I'm never alone. People can say what they will about the whole world being evil and no good people remaining, but they are wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. My heart is restored on a moment by moment basis by other human beings, people who know how hard this world is and will reach out their hand to help. We are never alone. You are never alone. Someone out there will have a hand waiting to help you pull yourself back up. I promise.

My time is limited by responsibility and the heavy workload of recovery, but I am using every spare moment to build a pile of thanks to everyone who has helped to instill this in me. I am looking forward, also, to the months ahead when everything is more settled (it will be, oh, do not doubt it my sweet silver linings, do not doubt it - it will be), a time when these lists of mine will go into play, when I can increase the love and appreciation to the people who have linked their arms and protected me when it seemed nothing ever could and no one ever would.

I know I go on and on about all of you, I know it, but you have to know I have never in my entire life had such an experience of kindness from other people, such an amazing revelation about the world's potential for good through humanity. It is an epiphany building like a symphony and this orchestra of hearts and minds built by all of you is the sweetest and most divine music I have ever heard. The song formed from your selfless love, understanding, and encouragement is the true song of the Universe. It blows my mind that all of you exist and can do the things you do. I didn't know you were out there. It has taken me years to overcome the blindness of my cynicism, the blackout shade of doubt and fear pulled over me by so many evil people and hard circumstances.

To hell with everything else. I can do it. We can all survive more than we think we can if we just keep that choir of friendship reverberating as we battle to correct course and recover from unexpected tumbles. You will be the song in my heart when I walk five miles to fix one more thing. You will be the tune on my lips when I push through the exhaustion of challenge to overcome those obstacles. I'll be drumming the beat of your chorus with every pulse of my heart when I wake up each morning and know - KNOW - I can still fight.

I'll stand by you, you can lean on me, you'll always get a little (++++) help from me, and I will never, ever, ever let you down in anything I have any power at all over. And I'm learning I've got more power over a lot more than I'd been led to believe.

There will be a party, and you're all the guests of honour. That's a promise.
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