The day has come.
We leave for Ecuador tonight.
I really can't believe it.
My heart has been bursting with love for New York and for our friends here.
I wrote this a couple of nights ago and sobbed all the way through it.
Thank you for chewing me up and spitting me out. So many times. On the curb, to be exact. Once when my first purchased apartment caught fire. Once on 9/11 when I got locked out of my apartment. Many times while working late nights and sacrificing my health and well being. Once on Park Ave. when my husband called off baby-making, marriage, and love. I'm thankful for all of it. I have learned so, so much. I wouldn't change any of it.
Thank you for the best meals of my life. For introducing me to hummus and grape leaves and the best black and white cookies in New York. Thanks for making some ridiculously amazing pizza that I still crave, the best falafel ever, Thai food I have eaten more than any other meal, pho soup that has become Brooklyn comfort food, and thank you even for my first taste of sushi. (yes, it's true. I had my first sushi in New York.)
Thank you for being the place in which I would transform my life. I learned about the real kind of love here. I felt love. I cultivated love. I feel like love changed my life.
Thank you for streets I walked while feeling empowered, songs I listened to (over and over) while healing my soul, people's faces I loved on the subway and on the street as I learned to love the world, and love my life.
Thank you for the amazing Brooklyn children we know and love (I'm straight up bawling as I write this). For their unbelievable love for us. For coming to find us and sit by us at church. For running to us and drawing pictures for us. For being such a beautiful and joyful part of our lives. And for thinking we're the same thing as they're grandparents (true story :). And also, for their dear parents who loved us, too, and involved us in their lives.
Thank you for surrounding me with the best women in the world (and their amazing husbands). They're the best friends I could ever ask for. So talented, so kind, so strong, so creative, so smart, so giving, so everything I want to be. (sooob) I truly feel like one of the luckiest women in the world. I've had the best Brooklyn family.
(photos from the NYC Gay Pride Parade, June 2013. We walked with the gay Mormons.)
Thank you for a precious baby named Beatrice. Helping to plan her funeral was one of the greatest honors of my life. The tremendous love and care and tasks of Brooklyn men, women, and children made that week one I will remember forever. The love we all felt for each other and the love we felt from God was as near to heaven as I think I've ever been.
Thank you for amazing life experiences I would have only dreamed of. Suite box finals at the U.S. Open (even Andre Agassi's last match!), spring breaks in St. Barths, date nights with courtside seats at the Nets, galas at The Rainbow Room, Mets games from behind home plate, opening nights at the NY Film Festival, and sailing the Greek Isles and the Turkish coast. (my previous job had some perks!!!)
Thank you for a woman who lived in the projects at 191 Sands Street. She taught us how to think of others' needs before your own. Even as she was dying, she taught us how to call your friends on the phone to see how they're doing, she taught us how to dedicate her entire life to service. She inspired a community of women to join together to care for her in her last days. And she left a legacy of motherhood, faith, and sacrifice that we will never forget.
Thank you for the Brooklyn Bridge. It was the best thing to see after a road trip. It always made me feel like I was home.
Thank you for all those designer friends who have shown me what good taste is all about and for making me somewhat of a design snob in the making. (A tortured one, however, as I don't have the skills to design anything myself.)
Thank you for the most beautiful seasons in the world. They are perfection. The spring cherry blossoms and magnolias, skipping through the streets, and dining al fresco. The summer concerts and fireflies, overflowing window boxes, and endless days in the park. Fall mums on stoops, breathtaking trees of Brooklyn, the cutest Halloween on earth in Park Slope, and trips to Storm King and Sleepy Hollow. And yes, winter. The first snows and the cozy apartments, glorious Christmas in New York, sledding in the park, and a word only New Yorkers can appreciate: Trashcicles.
And, thank you for being the city in which I would meet the love of the life. I cherished you before, but cherish you even more for being the city where Danny and I loved for the first time, where we held hands for the first time, where we walked the streets together in union, where we made a home together.
Dear readers here, we can't thank you enough for coming along with us on this journey to Ecuador. We plan to put even more time and effort into this space. Because we believe in the goodness of every human being and their ability to grow and experience the miracle of peace, even in the worst of life's moments. We hope to get even better at sharing that message.
Thank you for ALL the unbelievable support and excitement you've sent our way. It means the world. We love you. We thank you. And we'll write you from Ecuador very soon.
P.S. Has a city or town ever meant a lot to you? Tell me which one and why! I'd love to hear as I'm a sentimental mess right now. :)