Today I had business at the post office. Postage was quite dear as I was on a deadline and had to pay for it; still, I had a better time than some. One would-be customer left screaming profanities in response to the postage charges (no lie). From our P.O. box I picked up the typical: bills, explanation of insurance benefits, a few sales fliers. Then: an unfamiliar envelope with a name unknown to me. I sat in my car for a minute because I had an inkling it was more than just a Christmas card. I opened the card and read the words, “…I hope this helps with your daughter’s school clothes or Christmas cheer,” then I sat there and did some deep breaths, feeling those tears coming on.
Two gift cards fall out and I’m still doing some deep breathing. It’s just that only a minute before I’d been feeling pinched. Another reminder: God is good. People are good. I’m okay. Why are people so fucking amazing? It keeps me on my toes, I will tell you. Keep breathing.
Sometimes I feel overwhelmed at the goodness in the Universe. It is so personal it isn’t even fun to write about because I can’t capture it and when I try, I worry I sound boring. I lived in this dark dark place for a few years and I didn’t feel a part of the human race. Now I know I’m a part and my feelings come and swell up in my chest. Every day there are these piercing pains and then this deep cut of gratitude and they don’t feel but a hair’s breadth different!
I can’t even think some day I will Pay It Back in some way, because I could never give back all I’ve been given, and I’m not just talking about the wonderful gift of cash or gift cards or grocery money, I’m talking about – so much. Too much to write about. My body my breath my family my good memories my bad memories my safety the perils my insanity my goodness the rich red wine and when it turned to ashes and I fell apart. And my friends and my enemies and those who are largely indifferent to me but whom I hold in my hot little heart! And my son in a tangle of blankets and I feel angry and then my daughter and her impatient shake of the head. And my husband off to work and tired but the laughter in his voice and our hands and minds intertwined.
But you do pay it back. The way in which you treat those you love, especially your children, will make a better world for all of us.