A year ago tonight I was sitting in East Aurora, New York, surrounded by new family and friends, marveling at the distance I had traveled the night before, writing on my new iPad, wondering what Duncan was doing in my absence. It was the first night in years I had been without him near me, and only the sixth in our shared time together.
It was a long road getting there and one I have not taken for granted in the three-hundred, sixty-five days since. It started in Atlanta, when my anxiety first manifested on a business trip and continues to this day. But the real turning point was the morning Duncan presented me with his magic feather, when I kissed Ken farewell at the airport, and climbed aboard that red-eye flight to Buffalo. That was the night I finally understood how much control I had over my fear, that anything is truly possible if we work hard enough for it and believe in ourselves, and if we have the company of a good dog at our side to share in the journey.
And of course there were all the magic feathers sent to me by people across the country and from around the world who believed in me even when I doubted myself. I do not know whether I could have made that journey without their support and encouragement and faith. And I just want you to know that I remember, that I am still thankful for the gift you gave me, that there is not a day I haven't drawn strength from your generosity and kindness.
Thank you all. You got me there and back and have walked in my heart every time Duncan and I have ventured out since.