MeetUps are new to me. I’ve only been to three but since I’m bold and sort of fearless, I decided to host my own. Today. Gulp! Frantically and befrazzledly (is that a word?) I dropped the boys off at their aunt’s and sailed up the street to Wapa Cafe. Two women were waiting, patiently. I let the happy I felt show through my smile and my voice. “Hey ladies. I’m sooo glad you’re here. Let me hit the potty (breathe, unwind, flush) Let me tell you why I wanted to bring a group together. Lots of us are lonely and I think we need to gather and love each other. Listen to each other.” It was perfect. Us three women, strangers, but open and tender with each other’s stories of loss, love and the struggle for air. We huddled over tea, low lights, pillows, tears. Nothing missing (well, we could’ve used a little more heat but that’s fixable). No pretense just words and hugs and napkins (ok, next time I’ll bring kleenex) and better. All better. “Now, now. You’ve been through hell, now you’re here with us. Safe and supported. We’ve walked through life’s basement too…” Sometimes the stars align and the moon sings softly way up high where all are loved ones are. Sometimes, if we squint really hard, we make out their faces… grandmama, daddy, cousin, sister, friend…and we wave to them and know they are waving back. Sometimes we try new things and feel goofy and exposed and crazy but we try anyway and it’s perfect. Perfect. Now, now.