“Thank you, everyone, for my wonderful celebration on Saturday and the thoughtful and generous gift you gave me. I had a great time and my husband and I look forward to trying these restaurants near our new home! I forgot to ask…who wrote the poem that accompanied my gift?
A special thank you to the two special friends who volunteered to organize and host this special event! The food was delicious and the company was terrific. I had a little trouble during our ritual, hearing what everyone had to say about me and my time at IFS, but I let the group know and they were very patient with me. Their sentiments meant a lot to me and touched my heart greatly.
I also want to acknowledge our special junior hostess for her precious hand-made card and the thoughtful shoe bags she asked her grandmother to make for me. Thank you also to our sole male attendee and host for his very special card.
Below is something I shared with those who were there so that those who couldn’t attend can also hear my gratitude:
To borrow from Charles Dickens, “It’s [been] the best of times and the worst of times…
When I first became part of this community,
My children were at risk,
My marriage was failing,
My family was broken,
And I was lost.
Then, I found the team and all of you.
You taught me to set limits,
To expect and demand respect,
To not accept abuse in any form for myself or my children,
How not to enable,
And to celebrate myself.
Because of this community,
My children are alive, happy, and flourishing,
My marriage has been resurrected,
My family is mended,
And I am at a place I never expected to find…
I am at the beginning of a wonderful future.
I would not be here celebrating with all of you today
If not for all of your help, encouragement, love, and support.
If it “takes a village to raise a child”,
Then it takes a community like this one
To take all the broken pieces and put them together again
To create a new whole, one that is better than the original.
Thank you all, as a group and individually,
For sharing your vulnerability and short-comings so I could share mine,
For being at the other end of the phone when I needed you most,
For putting up with my struggles and failures,
For not accepting my successes but demanding more intstead,
For seeing through me when I was not being transparent,
For helping me learn to celebrate myself even when I saw nothing worthy of celebration,
And, most of all, for giving me back my children, my family, my marriage,
My self-worth, and my future.
You will always have a special place in my memory and in my heart.”