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I am still awake at 2:17 am Central Standard Time because I am wrapping gifts. Gifts for my dear friends, for my wonderful parents and their equally wonderful spouses, for my amazing in-laws. For my nieces. For my nephews.

And for my daughter. My precious, precious child who is safe, upstairs in her bed.

Oh, thank god— thank fate— thank— whatever you choose, but thank it loudly, and with tears of relief and so much sorrow.

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I cannot get Leonard Cohen’s Anthem out of my head. I remind myself often of that poignant lyric, “There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” It reminds me to accepts flaws, wounds, and breaks. To embrace the beauty of this life, even when it unfolds so differently than I imagine.

And today, it is just so damn wrong.

There is, yes, a crack.

But there is no light.

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I wish, dear child, I could wrap up safety. I wish I could tie a ribbon on your adolescence and put a bow on your ripe old age. Alas, I have books, toys, and that cheetah sweater you asked for. I can only hope and pray and hope and pray and pray and pray and pray for those other gifts.

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A wise man often tells me tomorrow is never guaranteed. I know that and I hate that, and tonight it feels too real.

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