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I am overwhelmed by your generosity

As many of you already know, I turned 45 yesterday. I'm not terribly big on birthday celebrations, to be honest. In fact, the ideal birthday to me is one that is extremely quiet, utterly private, spent at home where I can indulge in a good cuppa, some seafood chowder, and relax with a book or a light movie. I don't like parties. I don't like going to restaurants. I don't like gatherings. I crave quiet and not really sharing my birthday with anyone except my family.

Then, two years ago I had to say goodbye to my beloved dog, Maggie the day before my birthday as the vet diagnosed her with kidney failure, and I haven't wanted to celebrate my birthday since. This reticence was further cemented this year when my family held our private memorial mass for my mother two days before my birthday.

I've written rather extensively about how painful and difficult the past six months have been since my mother's cancer diagnosis, the series of unfortunate medical events that caused more and more setbacks and health problems, and the loss of her cancer battle on June 29th. To say that I wasn't looking forward to my birthday is an understatement. My heart is both broken and numb, and I hate that my mom isn't here and wasn't here yesterday to watch a silly cartoon with me.

But, I do want to express my extreme gratitude to the four individuals who so graciously and generously donated gift certificates in my mother's name for my birthday to be raffled off at the end of this week in a way to pass along some good fortune to four lucky people.

I am extremely touched by this because it not only helps my little store but also brings some good fortune to the four winners--something unexpected and kind--and I hope that they will think about my mom and how she would have also been touched and grateful.

So, anyone making a purchase at the shop between July 7 and July 15 at the shop will be entered into the giveaway for one of these four $25 gift certificates AND in the overall Anniversary Giveaway at the end of the month.

I also want to thank those of you who have sent such beautiful sympathy notes. I am grateful and deeply appreciative that you took the time to reach out to me and support me while the pain of losing my mom is so raw and fresh.

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