This is my 1,000th post on An Inch of Gray.
I suppose I could try to do a re-cap of the last 9 years, or make a "Best Of" list. But as I stand here at the kitchen counter, Andrew strapped to my chest, his gentle breathing in sync with my own, what I really want to do is say THANK YOU.
Life can be painfully lonely sometimes. I don't have a particularly difficult time making friends, but there are always blank spaces longing to be filled with love, understanding, and support. Rough edges call out to be smoothed with fresh perspective and empathy. And I don't care whether we are 5 years old on a mini soccer field, or 50 and making a scary life change, having someone cheering us on makes a real difference.
I have an embarrassment of riches in the cheering department because of you.
Some of you showed up long ago to read of my trash to treasure makeovers or funny little stories about parenting Jack and Margaret. Others came when the horrible news of Jack's death spread like wildfire throughout the blogging community. You could have refused to click over, wanting to shield yourself from the pain you knew you would find here. But you came to read, pray, and bear witness. You helped save my life. Some read Rare Bird and wanted to follow up and check on us, or perhaps to get a feel for where your own grief journey might lead, newcomers in a club no one ever wants to join. News of our miraculous God-gift of late in life pregnancy may have landed others here, not so long ago, because who doesn't like to hear of beauty from ashes and see a newborn's gassy smile?
This community amazes me, and I'm grateful for each of you.
I'm just a person who likes to make people laugh, although I know I sometimes make them cry. I enjoy picking up an idea, turning it around this way and that, exploring it with my words, wondering if my thoughts might connect with just one person out there. I like to be real, because being fake seems like it would be exhausting. I like to point my toes toward hope, and sometimes I find myself walking toward it and embracing it before I even know I'm moving.
Our world can be scary. There is a lot of hate out there. People tear each other down. Differences are magnified, hatreds fed and tended to until they flare up and consume.
I want to thank you for the love, for the real friendship and connection that absolutely can happen though a screen, and for being lights in my world, and THE world.