I raised $500 in the last week for my friend Henry. I persuaded 10 of my friends -- none of whom have actually met Henry -- to kick in toward the cost of his rehabilitation and care. I am very proud of this.
It's all I can do, you know. He remains sedated most of the day because when he is awakened, he is angry, and everything must be done to keep him calm so he can heal. But because he is out of it more often than not, there's no way of knowing if he's making any progress.
And so, to stay sane, I concentrate on the cash.
I treasure everyone's gifts. They will not only help dear Henry, they bring me comfort in the here and now. Here are a just a few of the lights that shine especially bright for me ...
• A long-ago boyfriend and his wife. We're all now Facebook friends. You know how, when a relationship ends, you wonder if you handled that well? Well, I take this as an indication that I did handle that breakup OK.
• My Cousin Rose. There has never been a time in my life when I've felt desperate that she hasn't come through for me.
• My niece. She's always broke, you know. Laboring under the crushing weight of her student loans. But she remembers how, when she was a little girl, Henry sent her a Lilly Pulitzer dress to wear on the first day of school. I'd forgotten, but she remembered.
• Kathy. A retiree, she's always broke, too. And yet she pitched in almost instantly. She's been unfailingly kind and attentive throughout this ordeal.
(And, of course, you, too, Snarkela.)
I will keep looking at the list and the dollar amounts. I know love isn't currency and currency isn't love, but right now, it's all I have to stave off the despair.