I was thinking today of taking some time to assess where I've been in the almost three years since losing my mom to a sad and avoidable death and my attempts to come to terms with how to leave the grief of ongoing misunderstanding and mistrust that thwarts my desire for family. I decided to revisit some of my old writings. I find I'm in a very similar place to the one that prompted this essay in January 2019, a few weeks before my mother's death. It is, in many ways, a good place, in that I recognize (once again) what I can and cannot control or, even affect. For many years my mind has played vivid scenarios for me in which people reach out, wanting to understand and wanting my love and understanding. There are so many resources available to us now for understanding the effects of abuse and trauma in a family system yet, fear often (almost always, I would venture to say) leads us to run from the stories and the struggles of those trying to come to terms. While my 2019 essay speaks of letting go of the longing and moving to a place of acceptance of my place in my family, learning to live with that without despair, and while real joy and a great deal of love, dominate my life, I cannot always avoid the longing for a confiding depth of relationship, welcome and continued reaching toward understanding and trust. So. There. I guess that's what I want to say for now. I am in a good place today so I thought I would take the time to let you know how it is with me. I know I am not alone. I know many of my friends live in a place of longing and loss simultaneous with gratefully embracing close and caring friendships. To those of you who are afraid of stories, loss or longing like mine, know that I do, on many levels, understand and I care about your fear and your sorrow too. Would I visit this place for and with you if I had been spared? I honestly don't know. I cannot know. I do know that when others trust me with their heartache and longing, I feel it as a gift and I am comforted.