you

...an ode to the people who have carried the mustard seed this far...

you
who called and wrote just to say you didn't know what to say
because there is nothing to say
there is only love

you
singing in hastily-assembled circles
calling in the powers of the four directions
the seven directions
the One Creator
the whatever it takes
and it took whatever we had

you!
on your knees for the first time
or the twenty-one thousandth
kindling a faithfire
that glinted off of rebecca's eyes every time we looked at them
that lit the path for solas as he took his first steps along it
that led strangers to announce to me
over and over
"he's got his mother's eyes"
he's got his mother's people

you
looking beyond my rambles into my heart
and knowing that your prayer is just exactly right
and knowing that the little boy i always was when our families got together for christmas, for thanksgiving, for holy days
is the little boy i still am
and you held me
honoring bonds of blood
across time zones
and physical distance
bringing rebecca and i to your churches, your sanctuaries
keeping this family in the light

you

you who live with the city rats and potholes
with the mall rats and pot heads
where the springs run year-round
or where the seasonal rivers are never in season anymore
you tending goats, herding cats, smooshing numbers into compliance
you studenting, you parenting
you low-renting, fighting fires
you tending elders
you just barely treading water
and you lend your hand

you
part of something greater than yourself
because you were part of it
you made it greater than yourself
we could not have done it without you

you, child-tender
you gave your breast milk to my son
nourished him for 8 long months
with thousands of ounces of living current
you sweet mothers sharing the gift of life whose names i will never know
you sweet mothers sharing the gift of life with a child who you'll never meet
you sweet mothers

you watching solas grow, that tidewalker might rest and become strong
you playing with him for a day, an hour
sending a homemade quilt, a toy a book an outfit
you making rebecca smile with a baby hoodie with ears atop

you who donated
who gave us the gift of more time to be a family of three
you who couldn't donate, but knew someone who could
who gave us the gift of your time

you who wrote back to emails
and commented on posts
and "liked"
and emoticonned
i tell you, in all sincere absurdity, that every bit of it helped

you
organizing kid care and food pickups and healing circles
spreading the news at dinner tables and across continents
cooking and cleaning and loving and leaning into every thing
you remind me: such a huge perq of fighting for justice in this world
is ending up with warrior-organizers as friends...

you
you who dropped everything to come here
just at the right time
just when we needed you that night, that day, that week, that season
who shared that prayer in candlelit trembling hope and fear
who slept fitfully just to fit into this spirit-healer bootcamp
this crowd-sourced faith
who leapt into that moment
so that in this moment
we can say, "we did everything we could do."

we did everything we could do

there were times that the fear came bearing down on me
like a mountain
like an avalanche
that was an entire mountain
and i reached out
and you
you were there to grab me
from afar
and say, "yes, you are afraid"
and say, "no, you're not alone"

you who exist beyond my knowing
you who know people beloved of mine, of rebecca's
who could be the hand holding a hand that trembled because their friend had just gotten a profoundly unfair diagnosis and what awful timing
and i couldn't be there for my friends in this time
and you were
i thank you
it means so much to me