dispatch from the universeJune 6, 2012
Sometimes I get really down on writing my book. Writing the first 45 – 50 pages has been harder than I anticipated because I was often made the bad guy during the beginning stages of Clark’s cancer fight. It’s a period that generally sucks to recall, and this particular recollection is especially trying because I’m remembering things from my current perspective and mood, which have shifted over the years.
After my article on Facebook’s Timeline was published, some who had endured similar struggles contacted me. I exchanged a few emails woman whose partner also died of melanoma, and we talked about crying in public and developing and becoming comfortable with our own particular brands of crazy. She even put a jab in there negating other types of cancer, which made me laugh so hard and feel so understood. (Lymphoma? Please.)
I received another email, though, from a person whose boyfriend is currently dying of complications from cystic fibrosis. I had never before spoken to someone in the process of losing a partner. We’ve written to each other a few times; she said she took comfort knowing she can tell me anything that’s going on and that I have some idea of what she’s talking about. All of what she says rings true, so I affirm her experience and check in every few weeks. I think about her multiple times per day.
Over Memorial Day weekend, I went to a barbecue at Jeff’s friend’s house. His usual crew was in attendance. One of his buddies had a date I hadn’t really met before, and we traded greetings. A few days later, she sent me an email explaining how she started following my blog after a friend of hers sent a link to my piece in GOOD (it pains me to link to it now because the magazine laid off nearly the entire editorial staff on Friday. Ann-as-editor was a vital part of making this piece great.). She wrote a comment on the article and said she wanted to give me a hug and how, if she was still in D.C., she’d buy me a beer.
She writes: Then, the strangest thing happened. I got divorced and I moved back to Maryland. I recently started dating again and I went to a barbecue on Sunday in Petworth and I swear that you were there (Dave’s house?).
For the same reasons why these people felt compelled to reach out to me, this book is important. Thanks for the reminders.