Madelaine arrived safe and sound, although she was exhausted from a night on the train with a pack of wild and newly-released college students. I took her straight away to a day of debate tournament excitement, and she held up like a champ. As we talked I noticed that she speaks of her classmates, her tutors, even her studies with such affection. It really seems like the perfect place for her!
And if that was not enough joy for one person, here is my mother in all her glory. She's feeling well, her strength is back, her hearing isn't perfect, but it is improved, and ... well ... she's ALIVE!! I never expected to have another Christmas with her, and I am overwhelmed with gratitude for her vibrant and inspiring life. I've taken her Christmas shopping, she's checked out a huge bag of books from the library, she is working through her ironing pile and she is back to church after too long an absence. She came over to do laundry this morning just as I was about to serve a late breakfast of popovers. She stayed, she chatted, she showed great interest in Madelaine's fall quarter at Gutenberg. And the whole time I was tempted to pinch myself...."Yes, Diane, this is real. This truly is a gloriously happy day!"