There are a few qualities which I’ve noticed lacking from Jacquelynn’s interactions since this whole mess began. Chief among these was inquisitiveness. Curiosity. Aside from simple day-to-day inquiries (“What is…?,”, “How do I…?”, and a whole lot of “Why is this happening?”s), there weren’t a lot of question marks punctuating her sentences.
So, today, when she pulled me aside to ask some very pointed and very intelligent questions about this blog and its consequences, I was as shocked as I was thrilled.
Yes, she still had to work a bit to get her questions across, but they were there, and she needed them answered.
They were interesting questions, too.
Before I get into that, though, let me clear something up in advance: Before I started this project, I had a thorough discussion with her. I was going public with a very impactful and, to some, immensely embarrassing diagnosis. I did everything I could to make this clear to her. I was very direct about what I wanted to do and what I hoped to accomplish. I did not sugar coat it, and I did not soft-sell the impact it could have on our lives. On her life. She was as aware as I could make her about this, and without her agreement and blessing, I would not proceed. She agreed, and you’ve been reading the results.
Last Friday evening, I uploaded a post titled “The Lights Are On And Someone’s Home”. For whatever reason, that post generated more reads and site hits than ever before, in twenty countries. Following that, Jacquelynn has apparently felt a bit more exposed. Excited for what we could eventually accomplish, also, but still concerned.
So today, she asked me about her personal exposure. Is someone going to want to talk to her on TV? How big is this now and how big is it going to get?
On the face of it, it may sound silly, but it certainly is not. Not to her. Jacquelynn has been on television and radio before, interviewing for and promoting projects she was working on. It’s no strange land for her, and not too much of a reach to imaging that her story could inspire such interest.
I’ve no question that it eventually will, honestly. But not yet. We average a bit over 20 page hits per post at this time. One post generating 150 hits and generating global interest is a start, but it’s far from what one would call “viral”. I promised at the outset to protect her, and I will keep that promise.
After she was comfortable with my answers, I took a moment to explain to her why I was smiling around my responses. Until very recently, these questions would never even have occurred to you, I told her. This is more unquestionable and wholly quantifiable progress. I was near to tears again myself (not rare, if your curious) just explaining this to her.
Later, in an interlude that began with her giving me mooneyes from across the room, I walked over, knelt down beside her chair, and almost lost it. “You have no idea how many times I’ve cried myself to sleep, or cried all night instead of sleeping, for fear of losing you.” I told her about my terrors watching her slip away more and more, losing ground seemingly daily. My nightmares, my frantic calls to different doctors and home care agencies for help. Absolute paranoia about having to surrender her to a full-time home to take over her care.
Now, the decline has honestly halted. She’s not slipping anymore. The floor of the valley is still very visible behind us, but she is GETTING BETTER. We’re far from done, and we have a very long and occasionally very difficult road ahead of us, but she is getting better. Undeniably and clearly better.
She is getting Better. Every. Day.