This is a love letter to my team. Not my “outpatient team”; certainly not when I played Penn Valley Junior Girls Basketball and was on Miami; this is a love letter to #teamMEA.
For someone who loves words, I am having trouble finding the right ones; this is the hardest love letter I have ever had to write.
I guess I shall start with “I love you”. I love you for caring about me and for supporting me, when I am fun to be around, and when I am a mess.
Some of you have held my hand at my darkest hours; There are some of you whom I have never met; Your presence in my life is my charm, which, as I have mentioned before, is probably my favorite word (in all parts of speech).
For years–during my postpartum, but even before that if I am really being honest–I have felt lonely, sometimes. I felt like an other. As my soul friend said to me recently, “We are each others’ other.” I felt as though I had more fears than other people, more anxieties, more insecurities, more failures, more doubts, and the list goes on. But because of you, my loves, I don’t feel that at all anymore. Not one little bit. I feel like I am a part of something, and that something is so beautiful and pure and good. And for so long, I wanted to be beautiful and pure and good. And your presence in my world is showing me that I deserve this love, even when I find it hard to believe.
Today, my daughter and I were cuddling on the couch in the basement, just talking as we stared at the beams of the unfinished ceiling, and she asked, “Mom, if I tell you something, will you give me a time out?” Never really a good intro, but I told her that she can always tell me anything. “I think you are really sweet because you never yell. Sometimes daddy yells, but I like it better because you don’t yell.”
“That is because I am someone who stays calm,” I explained to her, which is true. I don’t yell.
“Am I calm?” she asked.
“No,” I answered, honestly. “You get upset and when you do you cry and sometimes you scream when you cry and it is very loud and it hurts my ears.”
“Am I a cry baby?” she asked.
“No, you are not a cry baby. But you aren’t calm.”
“I have never seen you cry sad, mom. I have only seen you cry happy.”
Obviously, that is not true, as I am sure that in the past year she has seen me at very low points; but for some reason, the image that sticks with her is a happy one; she sees me as emotional, but also well.
And an enormous part of my wellness is because of you, dear loves. Your support, your empathy, your compassion, your generosity, your thoughtfulness, your kindness, your bravery, your companionship, your cheerleading…
You keep me going, even when I feel like everyone and everything else is trying to knock me down.
You see, life is life; it gets hard sometimes. But your presence also makes my life good. Fun. You make me laugh with silly posts and texts, you hold my hand while spilling secrets in bed, you let me squirt sriracha into a martini while we laugh so hard together that we can barely breathe.
When I experienced inpatient hospitalization and then, later, another serious treatment plan, I confided in you that I was worried about being able to keep it all going; my health, my duties at home and my blog.
And what did you do? You all offered to help. To bring my family meals. To write guest posts for me. And that is when one of you coined the term #teamMEA.
Mommy, Ever After is my third child, and you are like the amazing playgroup that I met because of having given birth to this baby; the kind of playgroup where the friends around you in the circle on the floor are your friends for life.
Jim Morrison said, “Friends can help each other. A true friend is someone who lets you have total freedom to be yourself – and especially to feel. Or, not feel. Whatever you happen to be feeling at the moment is fine with them. That’s what real love amounts to – letting a person be what he really is.”
And that quote right there means a lot to me (and not just because I trekked through a hailstorm in Paris to visit his grave). As I have gotten older, I have learned the difference between true friendship and that which is not. And it’s OK to have acquaintances. They serve their purpose. It is better to have people to say “hello” to than a bunch of enemies.
But you, my loves, are not the latter. You are my true friends. You care about me and I care about you. You love me at my lowest. You lift me up when I feel most lost. You cheer for me the loudest.
So, what I am saying, loves, is that you’re stuck with me.
For your love, I will be eternally, endlessly grateful.
Because of your love, and a few feathers, I will be able to soar.