For the past few months—several months, quite a while—I've been involved in a thing, a thing that I could not talk about to people outside my day-to-day life. But that thing is now out in the world, like really out in the world, and I'm so excited to share it.
I don't have adequate words to describe the powerful experience of working with Caitlin Gibson as she crafted this incredible piece. Go read everything she's ever written. The beauty and sensitivity with which she handled this story overall and our family's piece specifically are staggering. Alisha Jucevic's photography is the perfect visual complement. Spending time with both Caitlin and Alisha was an honor and a joy.
Even though nothing in the article is a surprise to me, I'm still crazy emotional about seeing it online. (Aside: Caitlin's piece will be the cover story on the December 15 print edition of the Washington Post Sunday magazine on December 15.) There's something about reading my quotes, Maddie's quotes, Riley's quotes, seeing our photos, getting that perspective, that really drives home how far we have come since John's diagnosis. I'm proud, deeply sad, and overflowing with joy and abundance. It's confusing and rich.
John would have been 47 two days ago. If there's one thing I hate, it's when people say, "John would have been so proud," or "John would have loved this." I've never quite understood why I have such a strong reaction to what I know is are natural and meant-to-be-comforting statements. All the feels I have from this article, though, are helping me to understand that I'm just projecting. I hate the idea that anyone would try to ascribe feelings to me, especially about the experience I had with John and the experiences I've lived without him. I'm constantly surprised, heartened, annoyed, frustrated, embarrassed, overjoyed, and a host of other things by what my life was and what it's become. I could never guess at what my own feelings would be; how could I possibly know someone else's?
[stepping off soapbox, which I had not planned to climb on, but there you have it]
What I'm trying to get at is that I don't know what my life would be like if John had not been sick and he were still alive. But I do know two things: 1. Sharing part of my life with John was profound and full of love and challenges and certainly changed me and the course of what's happened since for me, Maddie, and Riley. 2. I am overwhelmed by what my life is today, by the joy and abundance I feel, and by the people Maddie and Riley have become. I thank Caitlin for giving voice to that in the article, and thank everyone who has been a part of my virtual and IRL support system along the way.
Truly, I am blessed. <3 br="">3>