ninepointsatyr, I'm still in "Holy Crow!" mode...
He has bestowed upon me a +20 Artifact of Sarah. Under promises to wear it often, and to wear it around him, he placed Sarah's leather jacket in my keeping. This is something she wore when I first knew her 11 or more years ago. This is something she personalized with her own artwork over time. I remember at least one evening it ended up around my shoulders while we were out and about. I remember it hanging on the back of the dining room chairs at my Mom's house when she was over. But, mostly, I remember her in it. In all sorts of situations, in happy times and sad, in adventures and walks to the store, in game and in life. I'm sure this jacket would be almost instantly recognizeable to so many people, perhaps hundreds. I feel as if I gain 5 renown just by putting it on.
Hell yes, I'm going to wear it. I'm going to wear it often and with deep honor and satisfaction. And I, sure as Life, am going to come back and wear it around ninepointsatyr and others of us who loved her deeply. Looking back on it, I think I may have been too stunned to say thank you last night. I'll remedy that later on in person, but I'll say it here too. Thank you. Thank you from the deepest insides of my soul.
I would like to say an extra thanks to a bunch of the folks who were there last night.
To amberrattus: To me you seemed like the calm in the eye of the storm. Your strength is amazing.
To ninepointsatyr: You shared freely from your book of memories, both of Sarah and your self. You set aside time to talk amid so much going on.
To laefin: You showed me, vividly, that I was not alone. I loved all the moments of, "wait, I thought I was the only one who felt that way!" I would love to figure out how many such intersections we share. :)
To Pete (who I don't know if he has an lj) for a meal that reminded me that eating was worthwhile, and for his corona of playful mischief.
To Mary (who I know has an lj but I'm not sure what it is) for showing me that even a few well-chosen words can resonate with kinship.
To Petrov (who I don't know if he has an lj) for doing his utmost to keep the mood lightened.
To everyone for their hugs, their support, their companionship, and their kinship. Yeah, I'm being effusive and babbly. Bear with me.
I am so damn glad we came out here to Buffalo. Cooped up in the apartment, I kept feeling like I was going crazy: shaking, crying, pacing...
Getting to ninepointsatyr's apartment was an intense homecoming for me. I am not alone. Each and every one of us there loved keepersrosered. I saw the same emotions I felt reflected in the faces of those around me. The hugs are priceless to me. And, over the course of the evening, ninepointsatyr surprised me by pointing out that I was smiling. And I was, a lot. The tears gradually gave way to the comfort of old camaraderie, and manic humor melted into sincere hilarity.
I think I'm going to leave the details of the evening for those who were there, but I needed to say that tonight was pretty damn special to me. No, it doesn't bring her back, but it shows me that the years have not dissolved the family that grew up around her.
When mechanchaos and I left, I kept thinking, "I love these guys," over and over again.
I mean it. I want to do things better this time. I want to make more time to see folks, and to keep in touch when I can't. And, if any of you find your way over here from the Buffalo contingent would like to friend me and vice versa, just drop me a comment.
I needed this. I felt so much more myself. I found a self that I didn't realize I was missing. The grief will wax and wane. The sense of family is a blessing that I hope will endure.
In the spirit of all the adding I did over on facebook, would anyone be interested in conversing via AOL Instant Messenger? My user name over there is the same as my user name here on Livejournal. If you'd like me to add you, drop me a comment with your user name or somewhere you have your user name posted.
I'd like to post a nice big welcome-in-advance to ecwoodburn for her impending visit this weekend. It's been way too long, in no small part due to my own hangups. ecwoodburn, may your travels be smooth and swift. I look forward to giving a real hug. :)
Gather-like things will be happening Sunday as per this post.