We had a great turnout for the beef and beer on Saturday. It felt like a lot of work from my end, and all I did was wander around and mingle and hug people and say thank you. I can only imagine how Amy and Laura, who organized it, must have felt. Not to say the day wasn't fun, it was a blast. I just left feeling very, very drained. The interesting thing is the assortment of people that came out to visit and donate and say hello; it was quite the cross-section of my life. Some of my sorority sisters were there, my Jersey Girls and their parents (some of whom I hadn't seen in years), some of Dadumm's sisters (who I also hadn't seen in a very, very long time), and a group of people that I went to school with. Much as I complained about growing up in a small town when I was younger, there is a great sense of community there. And through everyone's generosity, we raised enough money that I was able to pay three months worth of rent and car insurance, and I still have enough money to buy groceries and gas and pay my utility bills. I know money can't buy happiness, but it can get you peace of mind, which is not too far off sometimes. Knowing that my bills will get paid is a huge weight off my mind, and the stress levels around here have dropped a lot.
This whole experience has been scary and stressful and has, frankly, sucked. But it's been a lot easier to get through than it could have been, because I have had an absolutely amazing group of people cheering me on from the start. All the support, the prayers, and the warmth I've received have been a huge comfort to me. It's only because of you all that I've been able to handle this with any degree of grace or sanity. There are people in places I have never even seen that are thinking good thoughts and sending me prayers, and hope and virtual hugs, and that amazes and humbles me. Someone recently commented on Ravelry that knitters are not actually nicer than any other group, but can be even crueler. That may be the case for her, but I have been surrounded by so much kindness and warmth and love from so many knitters that I can't help but think she's wrong. You have all been a wonderful comfort and a source of strength and humor. I will never look back on the last several months fondly, but I will be able to look back with wonder and awe.
And there is one person that I need to thank specifically, and from the very bottom of my little heart. Roxie, I can't thank you enough for the cards and presents. I love presents and surprises, especially when I don't know they're coming. You've been so generous and so sweet, and you've made me laugh to the point where I almost feel like I'm celebrating something. A thousand thank you's to you, for all your incredible kindness and warmth (figurative and literal, the comforter really lives up to the name. and it lives on my bed. i wake up and see the little alien friends and smile every morning). Working where I do, I tend to not see humanity at anything approaching its best, and it's so refreshing to be reminded in such a personal way that actually, everybody does not suck. In fact, some people rock out.
And while the love is being spread, there are a few other folks I want to say thanks to. Bells, RoseRed, Galad/Nancy, Monique, you guys are amazing. You've all got busy lives and we live across the world (or country, as the case may be) from each other, but you all take the time to let me know that you're thinking of me and pulling for me. The love and humor you all send keeps me hopeful and gives me strength. And I'm entirely convinced that the only reason this thing is benign is because there are so many people sending good thoughts to me. You've all got my deepest thanks for being there for me, and for being part of my blog family. As Jim would say, you guys are win.