December 16, 2010

love in a white square envelope

I've received a Christmas card in the mail, all the way from Ireland. Before opening it, I sat and held the envelope in my hands for a few moments, savoring the knowledge of all the miles it had traveled, the many hands it had passed through, the enormous cooperative effort required just to bring it to my door.

Inside was a sweet card, and an ornament for Ailis; a red felt heart with her name on it in tiny, perfect stitches.


Have you ever been crying in a crowded public place, but you're all alone and you have a lot of things to do, so you're trying to hide that you're upset, and you think that possibly you're succeeding, since no one even seems to notice that you're standing there at all? But then, just when you start to feel like you've almost got it under control, somebody in the rushing crowd suddenly stops, and looks right at you, and maybe even wraps you up in a hug; somebody you don't even know, but who is kind, and who sees you, and sees your pain, and decides that it matters, for some reason, to them. And when you realize this -- that your pain matters -- you know you can't hide anymore, and you don't want to anyway, and you find that you're crying harder now than ever...


Opening my envelope from Ireland was like that.

Thank you, Ines. For your kindness, and for remembering my girl.
I kind of love you for it. I would hug you if I could.

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