Warning: What follows is on the mushy mush side, so consider yourself warned...
I've had a rough couple of weeks.
I have been feeling more fragile since I have been since last summer, and everything has been hitting me harder. It really kinda feels like the world is falling apart, got some bad news regarding the murder trial for my brother's death, and to top it off I had some sort of back spasm that resulted in me being in pain for the better part of this week.
Yet there is such undeniable beauty and love around me that it can't help but filter through my clouds - I am so thankful.
I spoke with my mother last weekend on her birthday and I got off the phone choked up because I love her so much, and because I get to have her love me too. We haven't always had the easiest of relationships (basically, 6th through 12th grade had some pretty rough spots) but she is one of the more amazing women that has ever walked this planet. She has survived unimaginable heartbreak, more than one time, and still loves us fiercely and beautifully.
I had talked to my aunt and uncle last night for about an hour about my mental/emotional state, and I am still so in awe of the love and support and advice that they give me so freely, so generously. They have been my soft place to land in some situations that could have been so much more horrible. AND I get to see them every day and learn from these two incredible people.
Today I drove down to the city just to spend the evening with a group of friends at a barbecue at a beautiful house on a hill. This is an incredible group that is made up mostly of people that I grew up with in Wisconsin who have ended up in northern California. Most of us have known each other since 9th grade, if not before, and we've traveled wildly different paths to get here. Some are married, some in grad school, and we are about to add the first baby to the group! We manage to get together every few months or so and it never fails to be damn good time that I never want to end. They are such different and interesting and good people, and I get to be included. I just love that. My stomach always hurts after these gatherings from laughing so much.
I went out last night with two best friends and I just had so much fun. Drinking, laughing, flirting, being a big fishy in a tiny tiny pond. The hangover was so worth it. Krystal told me today that the best part of last night was seeing me laugh and just be Caitlin, having fun. And I just did - after talking to auntie and uncle and being with my girlfriends I was able to shake off some of this weight and feel good. (Even if it was party fueled by booze and the weight comes right back tomorrow, it was so worth it.)
Shortly after Brendan died I told someone that I didn't believe in a god, but if I'd ever seen God, it was in the love and support that carried my family through those first weeks. I'm expanding that. I still see whatever That is in the people I am so unbelievably fortunate to have in my life.