I have been very fortunate to have been able to live in places where I have easily found the right people to befriend. The recent relocation of my family has been no different. This past week was a wonderful example of how that good fortune continues.
A new friend, a tentative “we talk at pickup and think we really like each other” friend who also writes a blog (and books! She’s pretty amazing…). Hers is wildly successful, and she is on many levels someone whom I really respect already. It has been very interesting to get to know her on the page or screen before really getting to know her in person, and I have been astonished at how talented and intelligent she is. When I was reading her blog I made note of some tiny trifle that she had mentioned wishing she had. Nothing extravagant, nothing important, just a tiny thing that I happened to come across in my travels. I grabbed it and was happy to deliver it to her, and her gratefulness upon receiving it was overwhelming. She was clearly so pleased by such a small thing that I was delighted in the giving, much like I feel on Christmas. She gave me a hug. At that moment I realized it was only the second time I was hugged by someone I am not related to in seven months, and the first from someone I have not known for at least 15 years. It was a greater gift than I could have imagined.
Then, I wrote the post that was an attempt to squeeze bits of my broken heart back together again. I posted in on Wednesday of last week, and on that evening I drove Daghter and a sweet friend home after their theater class. When we got to his house and I walked him to the door, his father answered. He came out to tell me that he had read my blog that day, and he hugged me. He said kind words and listened to me as I rambled embarrassed at my frankness in writing that I could not summon in person. We chatted briefly, but I was told that he and his family are thankful that I am here. The hug was fraternal, it was caring, and it was, once again, a gift.
There are so many things that can make a place home for a person. Some say that wherever their spouse is, that is home. I understand that sentiment, but as I have said before I strive to be someone beyond my identity with just Husband. Those hugs, those gifts, were for me because of who I am. They were not because I was a teacher, a mother, a wife, a sister. They were because I was me and they welcomed me into my new home with loving arms.