Besides, try as I might, there just weren't any more Pinterest quotes about love and gratitude and friendship and generosity that could even come close to what I need to say, so my heart and my brain (tiny as it may be) lead me to the dining room table cockpit to a familiar place.
Nine years ago, when I started writing this here blog I did so out of a desperate need to belong. I also thought it would be a fun way to keep a little diary of sorts of my stitching, and perhaps a chance to peep my head out of my shell a bit and engage with the world.
And then Miss Charlene pulled the USS Guild up beside me as I was floundering in that big dark lonely ocean and said "Kid! Get your silly self in this boat!"
I am proud to say that THIS time I did. And I kept on writing this silly little blog and I kept on going to all things Guild and I put that needle back in my hand and never looked back.
Your immediate acceptance of me and my quirks and my funny little dog and my cozy little house and my crazy little life was immediate and appreciated. Your kind comments and lovely notes were medicine for what ailed me, and, most recently, your love...no other word for it...has been an awe-inspiring, mind-blowing, astonishing, gobsmacking, incredible blessing on my darkest darkest days.
For the last several hours I have been walking around stunned senseless by the generosity of strangers, thinking about the wonderfullness of it all and yet somehow fretting that there must have been a mistake someplace because nobody could possibly deserve to feel this...loved.
And it hits me. There it is again. That word. And I start thinking about a conversation I had with Dr. Melfi this afternoon. I told her that I've been thinking about God a lot lately, and I am convinced that She is an old African American woman. And by old, I don't mean that in the aged sense, but rather in the ancient and timeless sense. And She is regal...elegant...queenly in her demeanor. And Her voice hits you right in the solar plexus and resonates so deep down inside yourself that you can't imagine what your life was like before She started speaking. And Her words! You hear words that are poetry and music all at once and they tell you everything you need to know. (Oh...and She has a wicked, devastatingly ironic, mind-stoppingly amazing sense of humor.)
(I guess she's kind of an amalgam of Mya Angelou, Toni Morrison, and Oprah all put together.)
And the thing God likes talking about more than anything is love.
Love in its purest form. Love at its best and most complicated, and love at its simplest and most freely given.
So heaven, then, becomes whatever it is that you love the most. It might be a big long table full of gorgeous food...with a white table cloth and pretty plates and cupcakes with sprikles in front of a beautiful lake, and everybody you ever loved is there enjoying the perfect breeze and the lovely sunshine. Or maybe you loved books and Abraham Lincoln. So that means that heaven for you might be sitting in a library talking novels with Abraham Lincoln. Or maybe its playing golf with Arnold Palmer and your dad on a beautiful Sunday afternoon or having Taco Bell tacos with your mom in between stops at needlepoint shops. Or, in my case, maybe heaven is sitting in your Happy Chair writing a silly little blog with a vat of dietCoke to the left and a sleeping Stewey to the right.
All this heaven talk makes me think about the movie Field of Dreams. Remember when Ray's dad asks "Is this heaven?" and Ray says "No, it's Iowa" and then at the end of the movie the camera pans out and you see a line of headlights on cars filled with people coming to see the baseball field and save the farm? I always cry at that moment, because I realize that there aren't just a few cars. There aren't even just tens or hundreds of cars. There are THOUSANDS of cars. All filled with people coming to save the farm.
A completely tortured reference, I know. But this thing that's happening right now? This thing where you are all lined up in your cars with your headlights on coming to save me?
I've spent the better part of writing this here blog post trying to find words that could explain what's in this head of mine. Thank you seems appropriate, and although two very small and often used words, they don't come close. But I will say them to you all nonetheless and tell you that heaven might not be in Iowa, and it might not be in a library or on a golf course or even at Taco Bell, but if heaven is feeling love then it's right here in front of me and has been all along.
You and your kindness and support and encouragement have meant and do mean more to me than I can ever express. I know that I will never be able to repay it, but I promise you that my life's mission is to make sure that somebody will know what this feels like too.
With my whole heart,
The very humbled, incredibly grateful, impossibly loved Spinster Stitcher.