Yesterday I hosted a jewelry party - a fabulous girly event attended by some of my closest friends and lady family. I put out a little cookie spread while my incredibly talented friend (accompanied by her helpermom) arranged her gorgeous handmade pieces in my dining room. She works in stone and sterling silver, and oh my - such loveliness my dining room table has never seen!
It was a too-quick sort of affair for me. I was, as it turns out, starved for this kind of joy. The house rang with the sort of raucous laughter that can only be generated when women are under the spell of lovely things and in the company of good friends.
I spent the evening buzzing in the afterglow of the happy energy that filled my house for those three perfect hours.
And what I realized, after thinking so much about each of the lovely people who flitted around the dining room table snatching up Donna's bracelets, earrings, and necklaces as they laughed and chatted; is that I love my life.
There are great holes in it. There are massive sorrows. There are missing people. There are scars that will never fade. But I love what's here. What's here now.
What I do have, as it turns out, I adore.
I watched my friends - people I have cared about and known for years - as they flooded my house with their joy, and found myself pulled in. I have danced on the periphery for so long. I have spent endless days, months, years; waiting, trying, struggling. I have pretended to be happy. I have lied about being happy. Even to myself. Often to myself.
But yesterday I really was happy. And it occurred to me for the first time that I love this life.
I love what remains.
This is not to say that I'm happy that this is how my life has turned out. This is not what I chose - it's not what My Beloved and I wanted or planned. But in the aftermath I've somehow managed to carve out a sweet and happy place, and I'm grateful for the peace. And for the friends who helped me realize that I have it.