Thank you, farewell, and I love you:
Yeah… this is exactly what that title sounds like: a goodbye and an incalculable thank you and a practically impossible to quantify I love you.
Farewell sounds so effing final, doesn’t it? Or too prim and proper, or both. I’m not going far, but life has become quite the overflowing thing (ew? LOL) over the last few months and I have little time for reading, let alone writing the types of reviews I want to give to and share with all of you. I’m unable to maintain the schedule of the number of books I read and review as I once was. Ugh, yes, I’m sad about that, too. Don’t worry, though, the reasons for having less time for reviewing is because of many other good things in my life that are taking more and more of my time. Good things. 🙂
Can you guys believe that it’s been more than 3 years since I first started here at PBA? I cannot! That was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, accepting that invitation towards the end of 2013 to become a part of this family. I don’t believe in some divine being who’s in control and making all the moves, and I’m not even sure about something akin to “fate”, but considering what my life was soon to become just a few weeks later in early 2014… my gratitude and humility and love come pretty damn close to indefinable. Ya know, even though that’s kinda what I’m attempting to express here, all of those feelings, and beyond.
These feelings aren’t just for today, while I’m writing this, or thinking back on recent times. They’ve been here, shared with so many of you, these last 3+ years, from the very beginning. And they’ll continue to be, each and every day, just not here at PBA. (I know, I rhymed! I’m also doing that thing where sarcasm and humor attempt to become shields against strong, deep emotion. I shall fight on.) When my mom passed unexpectedly in January 2014, everyone who was here at PBA at the time was wonderful, understanding, helpful, all of the things we hope to receive when the unthinkable happens. I had no idea at that time, in those moments, that some of you would become permanent loves in my life. (I’m going to make myself cry, it seems like.)
Fast forward to October of that same year and my first GRL. My first long road trip by myself since Mom’s passing. The first time I was arriving someplace and wouldn’t know a soul in person since Mom’s passing. I was nervous, anxious, which is not my usual state before any kind of travel, especially to something as bombdiggity as GRL. I know I’ve told this story before but it’s worth repeating, it’s why love in the form of chosen friendship is so powerful: within the first five minutes of arriving at that hotel in suburban Chicago, I was having the life squeezed out of me in the form of a Brandilyn hug in the lobby. I knew I was going to be ok, and probably even enjoy myself. Something else that was still in the beginning stages of re-entering my life. I’ll never forget it. Obviously. And within an hour or so of that, I was sitting down to have a meal with Katie, not feeling anxious or worried or scared. I can still remember feeling relaxed, and thankful. And I knew I was going to get to know this wonderful person in those meaningful ways that make a friendship feel so good. Not too long after that, it was Christine and, within the first five minutes of us talking with each other, we knew. We knew we were sisters and it was a done deal and life had changed.
And has it ever!!!!! The life I’ve been living, the life I have, and am sharing with each and every one of you who reads this, or doesn’t, in every way and at all different levels, would not have happened without PBA. And all of you. Readers, fellow reviewers, authors, basically all of us book lovers and storytellers sharing whatever all of this is. There’s no comprehensive way to describe it and, thankfully, I know I don’t have to thanks to you.
I love you, my friends. And that’s real. Not an overblown overuse of the word or the feelings behind them. I love you.
So, this farewell is more like my final step into a life I’m already leading, and it just took me some time to get to a place in which I could say this goodbye. And as for thank you, yeah, there’s no way to really say it better than those two words. The feelings behind them are as real and as deep as they get, too.
And love. I don’t know what else to say beyond that. I love you.
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