I am without the benefit of extended family beyond my 3 sons and 2 grandsons. Sometimes, when I feel so weary from the chronicity of this disease (bipolar disorder with psychosis), I break down. I do. I feel too broken to go on, and my thoughts wander in search of anybody in my life who gives a damn.
It's been like this since my youth, through physical and sexual abuses, through childhood kidnapping, through so many foster homes and all the void and vacuum that were the source of my soul-searching -- a frenzied and fevered search for reprieve, and I am always left with my own nothingness.
By some unexplained grace, though, through the haze and across the distances that separate me from anyone who speaks to me of home or happiness or love, I meet people who somehow help to fill this gnawing emptiness, who give me pause to feel the internal excitement of having someone to celebrate.
I know that you could not know, dear friend -- nor can others who have become a sort of secret, source of celebration for me -- but you've given me moments of peace, of calm in the storm, of hope and of courage. Thank you for all that you do, and for all that you do without even knowing it. Your life-energy has a far greater worth, perhaps, than you can even imagine.
(Especially for Mary Ann Renz)