Thank you for your heartfelt letter. Speaking for this one blog hooligan, it made my day!
I smiled when you wrote of your Mom learning to use the computer to read the blogs. Just a few short years ago, my son set up an E-mail account for me. I promptly humiliated him the following day, informing his friends that I now had a "website."
"Mom, you do not have a website ... you have an E-mail address."
Please tell Mom ...Joan understands.
I never dreamed I'd become a "blogger." But, seeing you all basking in the glow of that word "INNOCENT" makes me glad to be a happy hooligan.
Reade, throughout the year, I thought of one personal story I would like to share with you, if the time were ever right. And, now, I think this is the time. When my husband and I were young, our best friends were a young doctor and his wife. They had tried for many years to have a baby and in the spring of his second year of his surgical residency, they had a little girl. My husband and I were her godparents. We were all young, and life was good.
That Christmas, our friend was diagnosed, very unexpectedly, with late stage cancer. It was shocking and devastating news. I can see him now with his little baby in his arms, saying, "I'll never see her grow up."
A long year of treatments ensued. Some friends drifted away. Many hard and frightening hours were endured.
Today, that little baby is a young wife. Her father, a successful surgeon. The cancer has never returned.
But here's the part I want to share with you, Reade. Our friend often makes this comment, "That was the worst year of my life, and the best year of my medical training." That year, he explains, was a gift of incomparable empathy, that our surgeon-friend brings into every hospital room, where he must deliver unfortunate news. It's a gift of hope to every fearful, worried family coming from the best possible source, their doctor. It's a gift of personal intimacy of the emotional journey of life, serious illness, and death from one whose been... almost...to the end. I would not presume to know what our friend, or you, or Collin or Dave have endured, but I would, in some way, hope our friend's words might have meaning for you.
I have heard you say you may become a lawyer. May this awful year, with time and healing, someday be seen as the best year of your preparation to be an outstanding member of the Bar! A year of training, like our friend, no one would ever wish for, nor want their loved one to endure...but, transformed into an incomparable gift in the end, by your own excellence, intelligence, and integrity.
Someday, I expect to read the news that attorney Reade Seligmann is being honored. Or Senator Seligmann or even President Seligmann has been elected. I'll smile to myself thinking, once upon a time, I was part of a small group pushing lawn mowers in acres of lies...trying....all of us, to speak on our little blogs on behalf of you and Collin and Dave. I'll probably call some of the other LieStoppers and reminisce. We'll rejoice that you have transformed this travesty into triumph, and you, Reade Seligmann, are a Big Tractor now,... speaking strongly and forcefully from the vantage point of your many unique gifts, to the betterment and benefit of us all!
Joan and the LieStoppers team