Just In Case

As I’m counting down the hours, about to undergo surgery, I’ve done my best to make sure my various affairs are in order … just in case. I’ve made arrangements for my cats and my literary estate and my stuff … just in case. I’ve said some private goodbyes and thank-yous … just in case.

But it’s never enough, is it? I keep thinking of more people who’ve meant so much to me over the course of my life, who’ve been dear friends and loved ones, who’ve helped me along my way and been there and let me be there for them, who’ve enriched my life and given me joy. Some of whom I’ve not seen in years or still never met in person but who are as dear to me as could be.

You know who you are. If you’re thinking I might mean you, I do. It’d take too long to do an individual list, and I’d hate to accidentally omit anyone. So, keeping it broad strokes.

To my parents and siblings, my nieces and nephews, my aunts and uncles and cousins and the whole extended bunch of you, for the beach house trips and holiday dice game and all those signature Fourths of July, and for the whole new generation of tinkerpotters carrying the legacy on …

To my ex-husbands and even the ex-laws who may’ve been glad to see the last of me …

To my Gargoyles clan, brought together by our shared love and fandom, from way back when the internet still seemed so new, through conventions and kerfuffles, you art-goddesses and writers, everyone from the show, the youngsters who tell me they grew up on my twisted fanfics (egads) …

To my GURPSers and gamers, through so many sessions and campaigns, so many maps and battlemats, so many rolls of the dice and even the crash-and-burns …

To my teachers, the ones who taught me in school and the ones I’ve learned from later even without setting foot in one of their classrooms …

To the neighbors and coworkers and classmates I’ve also been blessed to be able to call friends …

To my fellow heroes and villains, my ficbuddies and RP-guys who’ve given me some of the most passionate and intense imaginary relationships ever, to the good devs but not to those bastards who took it away; our city and our islands, a world I’ll never forget …

To my loved and loving kitties, and all their predecessors, feline or canine or other, the pets who’ve been a delight and shared so much affection …

To my BFFs, through hell and high water …

To the authors whose words have shaped my mind, often in such wonderful and demented ways, some of whom I’ve been privileged to meet and go giddy over …

To the editors and publishers who’ve given me the opportunity to share my stories, to the readers and reviewers, the literary track at so many conventions, the message boards, to the mentors who guided me whether they knew it or not, and the writers who for some reason have let me mentor them, to everyone who’s ever sent me a submission or something to review …

To the bizarros and extreme horror community, where I was always meant to belong and only wish like mad that I’d found you all sooner …

To my amazing daughter, and by extension her own friends and teachers and theater folk over the years, who’ve helped her become the sarcastic, talented, punster force of nature of whom I’m so incredibly proud …

My families.

I love you.

You’re the world to me.

Thank you for that, and for everything.

Now, I’d much rather be doing this in some big award acceptance speech, but, for now, let’s go with this. What I wanted and needed to say. Not necessarily as a goodbye, just, you know, just in case. I’m certainly planning and hoping to still be around so you have to put up with me for many years yet to come.

But, yeah … just in case.

You’re the best kind of wonderful crazy, and I love you.

See you on the other side, one way or another.

— Christine

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