You may not remember this, but one year ago today, I was discharged from the nuthouse after being hospitalized for a little longer than four months. What a long journey it’s been since that day, one year ago. I was intensely lonely and barely functional for oh so many months, and the doctors were constantly worried and wished to send me back to the hospital (they even made housecalls), but I managed to maintain my freedom and to survive. I still experience many rough days and many setbacks, and I am still working on getting my feet under me and “regaining functionality” even today. But through everything, you were there for me.
I just want to thank you all, my dear readers and my fellow SciBlings, for being so supportive and generous to me throughout this year. I am grateful and so very pleased that you appreciate my writings and thoughts enough to acknowledge me as you have in your own special ways.
I won’t reveal any of your names here because I know that at least a few of you specifically told me that you want to remain anonymous (and I don’t want to accidentally compromise any promises I’ve made), but it restores my faith in humanity to know that you are out there and it does my heart good to know that you are there for me.
Throughout the year, one or another of you sent (or are sending) books (lots of gorgeous books!), DVDs and music CDs, yummy cookies, chocolate-covered coffee beans, ground coffee and a variety of foods (all astonishingly delicious), gift certificates for my favorite NYC pet store and for Starbux, a small radio alarm clock that plays CDs, a winter coat, a digital camera (!!! THANKS Karen!), a beautiful hand-fed baby parrot (!!!), an all-expenses paid trip to Texas (!!!) and, especially early in 2007, quite a few of you sent money that I used to help pay my rent, thereby alleviating some of my anxieties. Additionally, throughout this year, many of you wrote lovely, touching and very supportive emails that helped me survive from one day to the next as I tried to deal with all my various difficulties and losses.
Then there are others of you, several of whom are professional photographers, who have generously shared your beautiful images with me, so that I, in turn, could share them with everyone, thus imparting an asthetically-pleasing look and feel that I wish my blog to have. I have been so pleased that so many of my fellow SciBlings and other scientists have helped me stay in touch with the primary research literature by emailing PDFs of scientific papers, who have answered my questions and who responded to my many blog essays and to reader comments throughout this year, thereby giving a wonderful sense of intellectual democracy and respect that I have longed to develop here. I am also pleased with the published authors who have sent me their books, responded to my reviews of their work, and who, along with their editors and publicity agents, have sent email throughout the year, encouraging me repeatedly to write a book or two of my own.
And the friendships that I’ve developed with many of you is the most amazing gift that I have gotten this year. From my own perspective, I’ve gotten far more from this blog writing gig than I’ve invested because, not only do you enjoy reading my writing (I would write a blog ANYWAY), but I have all of you as friends, too! But if I had just one wish, I would wish that I could share all of you with each other because you all are just the best people; smart, funny, thoughtful, articulate, kind, generous, talented, and — most amazing of all, you all like me! Because of you, I am starting to come alive again, bit by bit.
And even though 2008 is not yet here, several of you are already planning to fly me out to Kansas to go birding with you and your students, and another one of you is planning to fly me to Texas to go birding and butterflying with your friends. I have some truly fun things to look forward to!
So, in short, what can I say to you, except .. and it sounds so small and so trivial in comparison to what you’ve all done for me .. but I’ll say it anyway; thank you so very very much. I absolutely could not have done it — and I would not have survived this past year — without you all.