I hurried to the door and quickly flung it open, curious as to know whether any of the carefully handwritten addresses were headed by my own name; and were accordingly meant for me to open. I didn't expect that any of them would be, of course...but to my surprise and delight not one, but two of these packages had Emily Snelgrove written on them in two very different scripts.
Leaving the other mail on the kitchen table, I carried these two envelopes into my room as tentatively and as carefully as if they were vases filled with diamonds. And there in the quiet, still warmth of my little room I gently tore through the paper of the first package. The very same package which had been sealed, with so much love and care and thoughtfullness, by a very special friend of mine all the wya across the North Sea. <3
I was like a little girl then, at that one wonderful precious little moment on Christmas Eve. I had given a soft squeal of delight when I had opened this exquisite little box to reveal the delightful contents that lay within....which had travelled, across all those hundreds of hundreds of miles, from Augsburg in Germany to the very heart of the Irish Midlands, to now nestle safely in my hands.
And if this wasn't so incredibly generous and kind-hearted enough...accompanying this beautiful little Christmas gift was a hand-written letter, just for me.
The thoughts and words of this little letter served to both touch my heart and bring happy tears to my eyes. One sentence in particular struck me, and the little illustration drawn alongside it. My reader...who is so, so much more to me than that; she is an inspiration, a heroine to me - and, above all, a true and very special friend - drew her beautiful composition to a close with the following group of words before she signed off.
Sometimes we just need to let things go.
Beside this one little sentence, a little balloon on a string was being wafted gently away. I didn't have to read the two letters on the balloon itself to know and understand what it exactly symbolised.
Letting go...something which the past few years have taught me is a very hard thing to do, in many different situations.
It's hard to let your loved ones go when you hold them in your arms at the bus shuttle, knowing that many a week and a month might pass before you are able to see them again.
It's hard to let go when you are forced to make that excruciating, painful decision at the vets when they tell you your faithful furry friend is dying and the kindest thing you could do for them right now would be to let her go.
And it's hard, to let go of that voice which has controlled you, held you, manipulated you for so, so long....so long, it has taken over you, become part of you, has become part and whole of your identity, so that your whole life is bent to revolve around it. You hate it, you detest it with all your heart and soul - but at the same time, letting go of that voice - pushing away its icy, cold hand and struggling upright by yourself - seems so, so hard it appears to be almost impossible....
But I know that WE can do it. :)
Now it's evening time and I'm sitting in the lounge by the fire, the fairy lights glistening in the smoky warmth, the smell of the pot pourris on the mantlepiece in my nostrils. The sound of laughter and happiness fill the air. Such a simple, but perfect little moment. My presents lie in a pile at my feet, Frozen siting atop of them, awaiting to be opened for my little movie session after dinner.
Thanks to the beautiful letter sent to me from my dear friend and reader, I suddenly do feel like Elsa in my favourite ever Disney movie. I am going to let it go. I can be strong and unique and beautiful - and I want YOU to realise this too. So please, please remember that, and that in this one short, brief little span of time known as life...you deserve, for every single day of that life, to be happy.
I just want to take this opportunity to thank all of you, my readers. You have been there for me ever since I embarked upon this long and challenging journey, and for that I will never be able to thank you enough. <3
For every little comment, message, words of advice or encouragement...you will never be able to comprehend just how much this all means to me. And some of you have gone even further than that...I think you know who you are, but now, if I could, I would just love to reach out and hug you all, and thank you personally from the heart. Thank you, thank you, thank you - you are all AMAZING and I hope you all have a truly magical Christmas full of happiness and joy, and I would like to wish you all best for 2015 and beyond. <3
And before I sign off with my hot choc with one of my little German biccies for dunking alongside ( a little Spitzbuaba in the shape of a christmas tree :) ), I just want to send a special thank you out to the sender of my little Christmas Eve surprise...the box and letter which I will cherish forever. (the edile goodies, I'm afraid I can't guarantee they will be still around by the end of this week...;) but that is what they are intended for of course ;) ). I am so, so touched by your kindness and generosity Ange, and words will never be able to properly express how special our friendship is to me. <3 I would also like to mention that Ange too is the creator of her very own unique and truly amazing blog, How Nutella Saved My Life (Click HERE to see it :) ) . She writes with both enthusiasm and a positivity with is infectious, and she has made me laugh and smile when I have felt like crying and everything seems hopeless. She is an incredible inspiration and if you haven't read her blog yet, please do take a look. :) She will have you all reaching for the Nutella jar in no time.... ;)
ps. I have been baking LOADS and I am so sorry I haven't put my recipes up yet. They will be up in the next few days, I promise. ;) xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx