Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Into the Books

And, well... that's a wrap... at least, of the whirlwind that began in earnest ten weeks ago (with Madame Speaker's August surprise) and hit more uncharted posts than any of us could process in real time along the way.

If any of today's posts sound incoherent, all apologies -- your narrator's been up and running for 30 hours straight and, having spent all of it either writing, crunching numbers, pulling photos or translating feed, really needs to crash. It's just good -- a relief -- to have it all behind... and let it pass with the hope and prayer that the tensions and divisions that've raged over these days can fade with it... and that, going forward, I can go through the mail and feel like less of a piñata from all sides.

At least, just a bit.

On a final note, though... well, things really aren't so final as far as this beat's concerned. Monday brings a Bishops' Meeting loaded with high-watt agenda items -- topped by the Mother of All Discussions -- and, after that, the major Stateside appointments held in the pipeline for after the election will begin to drop.

It's my least favorite part of this work, but I've gotta say it again... i.e. that the only thing that keeps these pages coming to you is you... and enough keep dropping in that it wouldn't take much to keep things afloat behind-the-scenes.

I've been blessed and lucky enough to wake up every day to the greatest -- and, truly, most unexpected -- job in the world for almost four years now, but I've only been able to keep at it thanks to the support of this readership. For that, I can't ever say enough thanks to everyone who's lent a hand in seemingly every possible way under the sun... yet as the bills we always have with us (and Balto Week has its way of stretching this one-man shop's shoestring budget past its limit), hopefully you can forgive a gentle plug for the "guitar case"... or, above all, to simply send a good word skyward for everyone who's helped out along the way.

All this never stops being an experience, gang, but whatever fruit it's borne has come about thanks to the kindness, friendship, encouragement, candor, support and prayers of so many incredible folks from near and far. There might be one name on these pages, but -- like the world it covers -- it's a team project... and simply being on-side (trying to be something more than dead weight) never ceases to be a humbling gift in itself. That said, more than anything else, please keep the prayers comin' -- I need 'em more than anything, and you know you've all got a spot in mine, early and often (and usually well into the night, too), always.

With that, after a 30-hour run to close out these draining, chaotic, historic two months, goodnight... be at peace... God bless America... God love you all... e, certo, viva il Papa.