There are certain women, in this fair land, that are a comfort to me. They are islands that I imagine I would swim to if things "got bad". I think of these women and immediately feel more secure. In place of their human bodies, I imagine a double-sized bed with a puffy white comforter and a thick quilt. I imagine a safe place to sleep.

I was recently gifted a holiday package by one such woman living in Australia. She was not a Secret Santa participant but decided to send a gift nonetheless. As promised, the package came adorned with a thousand international stamps, my favorite type of wrapping. I found this sunny package on my doorstep in the midst of Soupy's illness. It was a reminder that there was this other world, the one I was in before Soupy became sick, and the one I would return to after she passed. It was a lifesaver thrown to me at just the right moment. With puffy eyes I opened the gift. I gently handled the contents and smiled, a unfamiliar expression at the time. Included was a note. "I am writing so that you might wonder, and the wonder will do you good. Today the sun shone and the cicadas struck up and I walked the dog and told him all the things we must do when we got home." I love this. But I don't wonder, I know. I know I like her. I know we are alike. And I know she is important, now, to me.

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