I usually do a list on facebook about what I liked and didn’t like about the Gathering, and I’m starting to see other people put their lists up. But for me, there was not one second I would want to change. Not one. I loved every single second because we nearly weren’t there at all.
You see, with Gof being sick and on leave from work, and me unable to find work after La Senza couldn’t keep me on after Christmas, we have been so low on funds we were incredibly lucky to be able to just make ends meet. So as much as we wanted to, the Gathering couldn’t be a priority of us this year. We tried to make it work, I even told Gof to go alone to save money as he’d never missed it and I’ve only been going 5 years (he refused to consider going without me, the big softie), but in the end the game was a boogey and we had to deal with not attending this year.
See, its not just about the role-playing for us. Although I love my character, I love seeing the people we see all too little of, at least once a year, and having a great time with them. Gof has had these people in his life for so long, and like the distance that separates me to the MMM (the Mad Mental Mob, aka mama, sis and kids), he mourns each mile that takes him far away from them. I’ve grown to, too.
In July, our friends (both here and elsewhere), these gorgeous, generous and frankly awesome (in the very truest sense of the world) people dropped a hell of a shock on us. We would be going to the ball, or at least the G, after all.
Tickets – paid for
Extra night camping –paid for
Travel – paid for
Food for both for 4 days – paid for
Extra spending money since so much was donated – here you go
Love – freely given, and lots of it
Gof has been through so much this year, they reasoned. He needed, after the dust has settled, a get away and to be surrounded by the loved ones he so rarely has a chance to see. Hell, we both did. To articulate how this overwhelming show of support affected us would be a task even Shakespeare himself would find difficult. We were in parts speechless, shocked, and warmed to the core. But it would be Thursday night, onsite, before I really broke down.
And then Friday. And Saturday. By Sunday I’d be emotional but too busy being Nessa to cry, thankfully. I was cried out. Almost.
I cried a bit on Monday again, bidding everyone farewell. I thought my heart would burst with so much love, both inside and out.
There is always a word that sums up each event perfectly, and in this year, both in character and out, that word was family. The family you create, the strength you find in the rag tag bunch of misfits you find make you a better version of you. Blood and bond, the lines blur until you see no difference in those you were born to and those your heart found. In loving Gof, I found family. In loving them, I find myself happier than I’ve ever been. My heart and world view have been widened by their presense. Nessa found family in the Crew, which is why she got dangerously upset by the bickering and potential fracture of that family. She will not suffer that to happen without a fight. Be warned!
I will never get over, in the best possible way, the Gathering and the events leading up to it. Neither will Gof, but that’s his story to tell. Over 30 people were involved in this scheme to surprise us – and more than the money (which was gratefully received!), it was the action of our loved ones… no, family, pulling together and making sure we knew exactly how loved we are that makes this so special. We have a card, signed with the names of all that took part, that contains the words that will now never fail to make me sob with pure joy.
Just because, indeed.