Wednesday, September 20, 2006 - 9 pm

I just taught my 4th class of the semester (it meets once/week) and now I'm sitting at Iron Hill Brewery in Newark, drinking a glass of wine and eating some nachos. Tonight I will sleep over at my colleague Jenny's house in Newark while CSM takes care of my boy and brings him to school in the morning. He loves his Wednesday nights with Aunt Susan.

I finished my first draft of the blog introduction. Jae reordered the entire blog in chronological order and pasted it into a word document for me (a task for which I am hugely grateful). I sent it off yesterday. It fells freeing to have it sent off to the agent - but I'm a little bit lost.

Yesterday I ventured into my dissertation files to reaquaint myself with them for the first time in months. It was daunting, but I'm slowly stepping back in.

It's funny - I used to hate eating in a restaurant alone. I remember my first few conferences, eating alone at a table, self-consciously picking at my food and pretending to look over the conference program for the 54th time. But, I'm ok sitting here. I like it. In the quiet is where I find Michael.

Speaking of...

I have been going through old files, finding emails and letters that speak to who Mike is. I recently found the script for the toast he gave as Best Man at Kevin and Beth's wedding in May of 2005.

In it, I found this paragraph. I have no words to describe how I feel reading it. The passage speaks for itself. It is Michael - speaking to all of us.

"Joking aside, I would like to thank them for what they have given us today. We get so few opportunities for ritual in our society anymore, so few chances to be part of a community, and so very few invitations to be part of something sacred. We can all draw strength from what we’ve seen today. We know that despite our best wishes, they will face struggles. But today, in front of all of us, they have looked the other in the eye and said, “I know you’ll make mistakes. In spite of that, I will accept you, love you, and stay with you.” They have shown the courage to make that promise, when it would be easier not to.

It’s easier to doubt; it’s harder to trust. It’s easier to lose hope; it’s harder to have faith. And one of the lessons of improv taught in that class that brought them together still holds true: There are always reasons to say no. The art is in finding a reason to say yes."


Anonymous said...

Beautiful! Just beautiful!

Good luck to you. We all can see how hard you are working at life. It is always a journey. Now, it is a new journey for you and Bax.

We all love you.

Anonymous said...

It's funny, weird, and sad how I find myself returning to many things Mike told me over the years, wishing I'd paid as much attention to them then as I find myself now.

Jalena said...

A long time between blogs and I was having withdrawal but then this is not about me but you!!! The part of the toast posted is beautiful and very insightful. A wise man.

Rosa Martey said...

I am so glad that you are tihnking of turning this into some kind of published document. I couldn't help but think about how important and moving your words have been to all the people in your lives, and that the ephemeral nature of the internet might soon take it all away.
If i can make a suggestion? You might want to include a bunch of these comments, as well, if you haven't already...

Anonymous said...

Just a few lines to let you know your still in our thoughts. I see that your surrounded by love if ever you need an ear, We got six!
love you

Your JHN friends

MJC said...

Reading Mike's toast, I can vividly remember hearing him say those words...even remember the inflections. It makes me feel sad, but also grateful that I kept that with me. You're in my thoughts.

Anonymous said...

I remember Mike crying at Kevin and Beth's wedding, maybe even more that Kevin was. Mike had a lot of love in him and everything that has been written over these months will serve as a role model for Baxter. He will learn all about how kind and smart and funny and everything else his daddy was.
How wonderful that you will have this to share with him.
You and Baxter are, as always, in my thoughts.