Sometimes I just want to write to you. I want to take advantage of the fact that you’re out there listening, that I have a space in your google reader or inbox – or for the diehards, that you take the time to click on my page every day or so even when the picture doesn’t change for several days in a row. And I want to say, Hey, I remember you’re out there. I think of you when really beautiful moments come to my day and I wonder – how would I share this on the blog so it grows from a gift just for me to something all my readers could open? Or when something really funny happens, when Michael and I share an inside joke that makes us all proud and we high-five each other like, “We’re such a sitcom,” and I want to turn it into a treatise on the benefits of committing to one person forever and ever and then never forgetting to laugh with them.
I think of you when I’m crying because my mom just sent me an essay she wrote about The Cancer Year, and I can’t believe how well she remembers its details and how gut-wrenching yet beautiful it is to see those days through anyone else’s eyes, but then I just can’t think how to tell you about it in a way I haven’t told you before. (Her essay was about the blanket, pictured here, which was signed by my family and friends to help me feel I was held by them).
An Oprah commercial came on the other day, a little montage about her final year. And it was timely, because I had just laughed at a guy on her stage who said, “I want your viewers to know that dreams come true, because I’m standing here next to Oprah,” and I was all, “They all say that, Buddy. And all that means to us is dreams come true for you.” And on the Oprah commercial they flashed back to one of the many times when she has said, “What I’ve learned over the years is that people want to be heard.” They want to know, did you see me? Did you hear me? And did what I said matter to you?
So the question is, how do we find that validation within ourselves? Because we aren’t all getting on Oprah. Even fewer of us have that hope than before, because this is it. Her last year. If her show is the only thing to prove that dreams come true, if her hearing us is the only way to truly feel we’ve been heard, then we are all doomed.
And that commercial was one of those crowning moments in my life – just a weekday afternoon in my own home – but it was crowning. Because I knew that I have that feeling. And it’s not because of Oprah or even because of this blog. It might be a wee bit because of The Cancer Year. But, believe me, it was happening before then, and it’s happening to you. You just have to open your eyes to see it. I do have the feeling that I am heard. And I am seen. And what I’ve said has mattered.
Is there one person who loves you? At least one? I bet you can think of more than that. I bet you can think of a whole lot more. A crazy, generous number. A number that – wait for it – might be bigger than the number a celebrity could give. Because you know people who love you because they know you in real life and like you despite all your humanity and the fact that you’re not rich or famous. What do they love about you? Because that’s when you were seen. Do they ever ask you a question, show interest in your life or plans or happiness? Because that’s when you were heard. Have they ever told someone else about you, shared a story you first told to them, passed on good or even troubling news from your life, prayed for you? Because that’s when what you said mattered to them.
Today I don’t love my blog because I get to be seen and heard. I love my blog because I get to tell you that you are. And hopefully, sheepish grin, you heard it.