Happy New Year!  Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!  Mine was top-notch, for a million and one reasons, none of which can be measured monetarily or materially.  It was an emotionally good Christmas.  The little Wordnerd family  (that’s me and Miss Priss on the left, by the way) was healthy and happy, and a visit with the extended Wordies was stress-free and enjoyable.

I don’t usually talk about gifts — we all get some really great stuff combined with a couple of WTF’s thrown in for good measure.  But my family received a gift this year that moved me to tears.

Right after Thanksgiving, my brother went on a trip to Rome and the Vatican with his priest (and boss, as it were) and a tour group from their church.  I expected a trinket or two, for sure.  But what I got was so much more.  On Christmas Day, I unwrapped a framed “apostolic blessing” from the Pope.  Literally.  It has my family listed, by name, along with the Pope’s blessing for our family.

Now I don’t know how many of you are Catholic or even how many of you are religious.  And I don’t profess to be the best Catholic myself.   But all the parts are there and working, so to speak, so this is a gift of incredible proportions to me personally.  The fact that it came from my brother, whom I feel so close to despite the crazy that’s been going on with us and around us for the past couple of years, AND who returned with an inner peace that I envy immensely, makes it that much better.

And? Honestly? Regardless of what your beliefs are, this ranks at about a 110 on the Ain’t-It-Cool Meter.