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I am touched beyond words by what my dearest friend Dave (Neo) wrote today and will break my silence to say so.

It has been a long year, and at times a dark one. Of it I will say no more here, save to echo what was in Neo’s post – my thanks to all who have cared (and still care) for me. My thanks also go to Neo, Dave Smith, Chalcedon, Geoffrey and everyone who comments and reads here – and it was lovely that David Monier-Williams, who was here before here existed, so to speak, was the first to comment on Neo’s post – thank you for your prayers and kindnesses David – and indeed, all the Davids, brave cavaliers all of you. I liked the description, ‘AATW family’ – so much so that I sought for, and got, permission to say so.

To all those who have asked via Neo and C, how I am, and have passed on your prayers and good wishes, let me say at once not only how grateful (more Thanksgiving) I am, but how supported I have felt by them; no one who has been prayed for as I have could doubt the efficacy of prayer. There were times it was all that kept me afloat – that and the love of God. Our Lady felt very close, and she carried your prayers to me – I felt them through her. If I’d ever wondered what intercessory prayer was, I don’t now.

As Neo said, my illness is in remission – well, that’s what the medics say. In reality they’ve no idea what happened, me too, but I’m happy to say so; but then I’m not a highly trained medic with a puzzle in front of me, I’m just a woman who was very ill and now isn’t. None of us can know what will happen next, and I’m as superstitious as the next very superstitious person – but into His hands we all commend ourselves.

I haven’t kept up with the blog, or indeed the news, as limited access to the media seemed to be one of the ways to getting better – not as though I am up to the cut and thrust of debate (oh well, OK then, what’s new there then?). But that doesn’t mean I have not prayed for you all – or that I will stop.

As some of you know, I spent a year in America when I was younger, and that intensified a love of America that came from a crush on John Wayne and a love of American films. It’s so easy, looking and admiring that great nation, to forget how precarious were its origins, and now, with so much political correctness, almost to have to apologise for them. But those brave Pilgrims might easily have suffered the fate of those Vikings who had tried to establish settlement much earlier, and in fact almost did suffer that fate. But their faith in God which led them to cross a vast ocean in vulnerable wooden ships, kept them firm and saw them through. May that be said of us all – and let us always give thanks to Him who alone is truly worthy of all thanks and praise.