Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend
— Proverbs 27:17
Hello, old friends. It's been a while. A lot has happened, and very little.
I used to frequent E2 pretty much daily. For many years it was my favourite place to hang out online. I made many friends here, both in the virtual world and the Real World™. I met Christine here, courted her and proposed to her here, celebrated with you here and shared our lives here. You supported us through the trying seven years of her cancer. Finally I told you the sad news of her death here.
After Christine died, I worked up some courage and continued to write, but especially after I lost the case to keep my step-daughter Tessie at home, I began to withdraw and over time, became a hermit. Without the two most important women in my life, I withdrew into a terrible depression. I've been homeless, hopeless and withdrawn. I neglected my friends, my family and even Tessie. I'm coming back from the edge, and I feel it's appropriate to share the moment with a community that's been both very good and important to me over the many years.
Spring is with us, redbud is blooming, almonds have dropped their blossoms and are working on their fruit. The frogs gather to serenade us in the evenings. It's a joyous time, to be sure, but for me it's a season tinged with sadness.
Christine's birthday is approaching, and toward the close of the month is the anniversary of her death. Those of you who knew her, I ask you to remember her fondly in your hearts. Those of you who never knew her, I encourage you to read her. She was an astonishing woman; worth my crossing the ocean for to leave behind an old life and take up a new one.
On the upside, I'm in touch with Tessie almost every day. She's finishing her degree online, has a good job and a stable life that she's built for herself. I'm proud of her for coming through her rotten lot with her head held high. The night Christine died, she said it was as though a light had gone out in her life. I told her then, and still tell her, that the reason she can't see the light is that she now carries it.
Thank you all for your support, prayers and the many gifts you've shared over the years. I love you all. To those of you I neglected, I apologise and ask you to forgive the actions of a broken man.
Perhaps returning to E2 may help me heal something. I hope so, I missed you.