09 December 2019

National News

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="">


Bopper said...

Wonderful to see updates on you all!

Anonymous said...

Loved this

Kristen said...

I cried reading this. For your happiness, for your grief, for the boundless love you all share.

Charlie said...

What a lovely article, and it was lovely to read about your gorgeous family, I’m so glad you and your twins are doing so well.

I lost a close friend to cancer last month. She fought it for three years and has a six-year-old son. So, although not the same, it was interesting to read of other children who no longer have both parents. Luckily, like the children in this article, his surviving parent is also a rockstar and he is surrounded by love.

Anonymous said...

So glad you are back! I love your writing. It is wonderful you and the twins are doing so well!

Betsy said...

amazing share, thank you!!! We also chose to have a child when my husband had a brain tumor. His prognosis was 10-20 years, and we already had one child. It wasn't an easy or quick decision to make but now I can say for sure, it was the right one. My husband died 11 months ago and he said it was the best decision he ever made. My kids love each other and we have a little supportive family, just us three. It's a personal choice, and obviously the right one for you. So glad you have the twins! So thankful for ALL of your sharing. It helped me back in the old days of your blog, and it helps me now to see your new voice and perspective. All the best to you and the twins.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this <3

Reagan and Trevor's Mommy said...

What a fantastic article. I'm firmly in the camp of creating life out of love is always a beautiful thing.

Anne said...

I did not read the article when I saw it - not knowing that you and your family were included - but will absolutely do so now. I cannot tell you how happy I am to see you writing again. Thank you for continuing to share tidbits of your life with us.

Ab said...

So happy to see this and see you all thriving.

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Anonymous said...


Just passing through hoping all is well. I hope you and the twins have come through the long year of lockdown healthy and happy!


RoseA said...

I’m so glad I checked in- I followed you way back when your blog began. The WaPo article is phenomenal-congratulations! Hoping the lockdown hasn’t been too stressful. Your family is beautiful and it lightens my heart to see the update on you and the twins.

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