Our 10th Anniversary

Today is the tenth anniversary of our first date.  Suffice to say the day started out pretty rough.  But, hey, it got worse from there.  Fortunately, and unbeknownst to them, some friends rescued me from my pity party with a random and well-timed invitation to lunch and a movie.  We saw Night in a Museum II which was cute and a welcome distraction followed immediately byafternoon drinks and chit-chat at Baby A’s on the patio.  It was nice.

A few days ago, I made a decision.  To many of you, it’s an obvious decision and no doubt you’ll chide me with a loud “duh!”  Simma down na.  It’s a little more difficult than just pressing the Easy button.  But I can hear Maggie’s voice in my head, “Just try and see what happens.”  So that’s what I’m going to do.  I’m going to try to turn this blog into a book.

My plan is complex, multi-layered and thoroughly thought out:  I’ll point my shoes in that general direction and see if doors open in my path.  If they do, then we are on.  If I feel like I’m swimming up hill, then I’ll stop.  Frankly, I don’t know what to expect and I’m a little apprehensive about taking this step.  But in the whole What Would Maggie Do? world I live in now, the answer is clear: write a book.

It’s obvious that I have some pieces already in place.  I’ve certainly got a lot of raw material here.  Additionally, you have proven to me that it’s readable.  What I definitely believe is that a book chronicling our journey can help people if, in no other way, just to give that glimmer of light I’ve mentioned.

See, I tend to be very practical.  She was the dreamy, let’s-count-animals-in-the-clouds one in our relationship.  Me, I need to see how the hammer hits the nail and how the nail is going to fix something.  So it’s hard for me to see clearly how this blog has helped anyone.  I’m not asking for affirmations here.  I’m just explaining my warped sense of what is.  (My mom told me one evening over supper that I was not qualified to judge my own writing, something I still struggle with understanding.)

I think back on Lance Armstrong’s book “It’s Not About the Bike” that I read back when we were in Waco.  Back then I was helping Maggie finish out the last days of law school by acting as her pack mule, cook, bodily-fluid cleanup guy, medicine scheduler, driver, and anything else that came up other than attending class and studying.  Every other evening or so, while she studied (or slept) was usually spent taking Chris time at the restaurant next door called Buzzard Billy’s.  There, I’d eat, drink a beer and read.  There were many, many nights were I sat bellied up to the bar trying like mad not to burst into obvious tears reading that book.  It was the hardest book I’ve ever made it through.  But, even though the book didn’t offer any fix-it tips or methods of coping or ways to deal with nausea, it helped me deal.  Why?  I’m not sure.  But it did.  Definitely.  Maybe it was just perspective.

In that same way, maybe the book this blog builds would give the same thing to someone – perspective.  I’m guessing, really.  I have no clue.  It’s extremely difficult for me to understand these complexities.  I’m an geek/engineer by training.  I get gears, motors, electricity and how those things can move mountains.  These mysterious inner workings of emotion are out, way out of my realm of comfort and understanding.  But I know that after reading Lance’s book I felt a little bit better.

Thus, the book is on.  Well, more specifically, I’m going to head in that direction for a bit to see what happens.

Again, I’m not looking for affirmations.  But if you have an idea of how this book would look I’m all ears… uhm… eyes.

38 thoughts on “Our 10th Anniversary

  1. I check to see if you’ve updated first thing in the a.m., last thing at night and every time I sign on in between. My husband asked why I’m still reading since Maggie died. Enough said..

    “Git R Done”

  2. Thank you for deciding to write a book. You have no idea how much your life story will help others. I know I look forward to reading it someday soon.

  3. I ask myself all of the time “What Would Maggie Do?” I need a WWMD bracelet. I think a book is an excellent idea!!

  4. Yipppeee!! Yippeee! This is great news! I am sooo “doing a little jig” in my office at work…thank goodness the boss is gone!!

  5. Ok, so I’ve been reading this blog for quite some time and just have never thought to reply until now. Not only would writing a book be a tribute to someone who was truly amazing but it would also be very therapeutic for you. I will definitely be buying the book.

  6. It seems we all agree…you should go for it! It will probably help with your healing process, and the rest of us would benefit from your experiences and inspiration. I too check everyday for new writings.

  7. Get R Done.

    Your blog has been so inspirational to me and many others. I look forward to reading more about your adventure.

  8. I’m buying the book. And when you are in NYC for your first book tour I’ll be at whichever Barnes & Noble to get my book(s) signed. And drinks are on me afterwards 🙂

  9. On why it helps to read blogs (and soon to be books) like yours even though they doesn’t really ‘fix’ anything-

    You make our fear of the unknown future a little less frightening. True, the worst can still happen- but it seems a little less scary when someone has been there before us, or is standing there next to us- even if only in cyber space. Following your journey makes our own battles with this disease seem a little less scary and lonely. While you aren’t able to ‘fix’ cancer, you manage take some of the horror out of it. Thank you.

  10. Chris..one of my best friends who lives in NY, Elena (you and Maggie actually met her years ago when she came out to visit, not sure you remember her) has spent the last ten years as a Senior Director of Publicity with Tor Books. She recently left last year to start her own publishing company. If you want me to get you on the phone with her to if anything provide some direction on first steps please do not hesitate to ask. I have already informed her numerous times that I was hoping you would write a book reflecting on your journey. Just let me know, I will see her in NY this weekend. On a side note, it was great seeing you this weekend=)

  11. What a wonderful tribute to Maggie and to your love for each other! I have no doubt that this book will touch countless people’s lives.

    Continuing to send love and prayers your way —

  12. Chris,

    Long-time listener, first-time caller. Cancer is ugly. Your love made something beautiful out of something ugly.

    Heroism requires sacrifice, and sacrifice means loss. We think of heroes as winners; so when you lose so much, it’s hard to feel like a hero. But to so many of us reading the blog, you’re a hero.

    Beauty and heroism in dark times bring hope.

    Maybe you don’t see beauty right now, and maybe you don’t feel like a hero; but just as we can’t understand the depths of your grief, you can’t get how fully this blog fulfills its readers’ need for hope. Lance’s story helped you. Please let your story help others.

    1. Thanks for your comments, Mr. Kercher.

      Man, in no way do I feel like a hero. In fact, the idea of me being represented as such turns my stomach. Like you suggested, I see no beauty, only pain, suffering and loss. But I also know that my perspective is really screwed up and probably will be for some time. And (and here’s a big leap of faith) I also trust that those around me would not lead me astray during my time of wandering. So I trust what you say although I….

      Well, I’ll just leave it at that.
      Thank you again.

  13. Chris, I know that you have heard it from your family enough. Now…listen to all that have spoken and all who will speak here! We all will support you no matter which decision you make.

  14. Chris, I have been reading your blog for a while now as well. I was just telling some friends this weekend that I really hope you write a book or script for a movie. You’re a very talented writer. The book would be a wonderful tribute to Maggie.

  15. I completely agree with all the above comments. I hope your book gets translated into a hundred languages. The beauty is that she strongly loved you and all of us; and that you loved her equally as strong. Opening your heart and letting us all have a peek is a most precious gift.
    Thank you,

  16. YAY! I’m so glad you have decided to pursue this! I think I first had the thought this blog would be a great book after the first 3 or 4 posts and have been hoping you’d do it. Had a great time drinking beers on Saturday night and it was good to see you smiling and having fun.

    Best of luck–can’t wait to go to your first signing at Book People.

    Emily

  17. I read your “git r done” post to my mom the other day since we had just had a “dumb things that guys do” discussion. It seemed like a good time… Anyway, after she stopped laughing the first words out of her mouth were, “oh my gosh, he should write a book!”

    I’ve learned that when God is speaking to us and gives us an idea, it often comes from someone else and is seemingly affirmed by everyone. Well, you have that!!

    Best wishes!

  18. I cried when I read your blog today. What a wonderful idea. As I mentioned, I have walked a similar road with colon cancer, and look each and every day for your words, which are somehow always soothing.
    Great for you!

  19. Yay! You can do this and you will do this. And it will be successful. Maybe you don’t like the term hero, but heroes are everyday people that do extraordinary things. Maybe you don’t feel like you’ve done anything extraordinary, you were just doing what any loving person would do. But the simple fact is you’re a gifted writer/engineer/techie etc. And you have awakenend some extraordinary emotions for anyone who has come across tour blog. I’m excited to see how these new chapters unfold. Git-er-done!

  20. i think the one thing that resonates with almost anyone, no matter if they’re reading about something they have/are/are-about-to experience, even if it comes from someone who lives on a different continent and had to have translation in order to be published, is that you are not alone. no matter what you’ve went through, no matter how personal your pain, journey, and experience, someone out there understands, has been on both sides of the train that wrecked their life, and are there to show you that there’s life on both sides of the tracks. i can’t stress this enough, because not everything you write has to have a purpose. i can tell you about how i’ve relayed, somewhat randomly, my thoughts on an event or situation that occurred,only years later to have a friend say “you know wendi, i always come back to when you said such-and-such about this timeframe in your life. it always brings me back to the whole point of life: there are no answers given but there are always people put in your path to help you along the way.”

    i know it sounds corny but you can never know how anything you say will impact someone when they’re looking for answers or solace in the fact that they can get through this, whatever this may mean to that person. i do believe that many of the people who read your blog are in their own way looking for answers and to know that they are not alone in their plight. i know that others have different reasons, just like you have your own reasons for writing. what i’m saying is, dig in, write your book, don’t let anything discourage you, because you just never know when someone will take something you’ve written to heart and let it guide them through their darkness.

  21. Even though I do not know you and never met Maggie, I have followed for a few years and I was just waiting to see you write this post. I’m so excited that you are going to do a book. There are many, many lessons to learn from everything you have written for so many people out there, including myself. Many manuals, if you will, on colon cancer, and the ups and downs associated with it, what true love looks like when you are walking through it, what happens when the nightmare becomes reality, how to live during the nightmare,how to pick up the pieces when that particular chapter is over and how can we forget one of the best love stories ever known.

    Thank you so much for continuing to write. Keep writing, it’s been great to see your progress in the healing department, even if it is just a speck of sand at a time.

    Melanie

  22. “DITTO”! to what everyone has said.
    Getting a title for your book will probably be hardest part. I feel [just me]the title should be what it’s all about. Let me be the first…..and not the last to give you my thought.

    “MY LOVE,MY LIFE,MY WIFE”!

    You take care Chris.

  23. Glad you’re taking the plunge, my man, I’m looking forward to it. Maybe you’ll get to be on Oprah!

  24. Oh brother. I don’t need a book to tell me love is stronger than cancer. Do I need a book to tell me how cancer takes loved ones away and how it hurts? Do I want to put this story on my shelf to remind me of the story that I and millions all over the world are all too familiar with or will one day become familiar with? I prefer this story as a blog, it is so conducive to the blog format in this information age. Sorry, if I am harsh Chris, but you’ll see that publishers, editors, agents will morph this story into something that won’t be entirely yours or Maggie’s. Harvey Pekar did a nice graphic novel on his own experience. I think he was in more control of his work than most. Honestly, the lessons are not new, the story is not new, the outcome is not new. What is different is your own words, the way you tell the story. In your case it was on a blog. Publishers and editors and agents…prepare to fight to keep it yours. It depends on how much you love your own words and story that will determine how difficult it will be getting a book published. This story is more accessible online where anyone who Googles colon cancer can reach it (if you set the tags right). Books cost money, they go on shelves, they are traded for other books. In my opinion, write it if it makes you feel better, but Maggie is more alive on this blog than she ever could be in a book. You reach the masses online. Oprah? What’s all this talk about Oprah? I guess that is how most of your readers measure success? I think the fact that you have so many comments per posting all this time is more a sign of success and reaching people than sitting next to Oprah, then again…just my personal opinion. Many people want to sit up there next to Oprah. A movie? Why should this be a movie? This is all a critique I guess of some of your enthusiastic fans and posters. I guess I feel movies, books, Oprah all take away from a true story, they do not enhance it, they entertain. Maggie’s life, her struggle to keep it, her death were not entertaining. She was real, the story is real, keep it real.

    1. Alex, thanks for taking the time to write. Your post made me chuckle out loud. I appreciate the candor.

  25. Chris, I have been reading your blog for some time. My husband/friend of 30 years has the same diagnosis as Maggie and we are in the final stages after 5 years.The last year has been the most challenging. I look to you for guidance. Your story seems so much like my story and when I read your post I think “yes that’s how it is”. You help me understand all the crazy emotions that fill my mind. I have shared with many some of your writings to help them understand where I am. This is a gift/help to me and I thank you for this.

    1. I’m very sorry that you are going through any of what we experienced. It sucks. You know this already. I’m happy that what you’ve read here can serve you in any way, if only to lend you a voice to your friends and family.

      Please, please, please cherish every single moment. Turn every meal into a banquet, every trip into a journey. Life is right here, right now. Milk it for everything you can.

      You’ll never regret taking the extra time to make every moment special.

      Good luck, Mary Kay. My heart goes out to you and your husband/friend.

  26. YES!!!! An astounding yes!!! You are an incredible writer! I still check the blog everyday also! I think it would be even more so healing for you and a beautiful tribute to a beautiful person/wife/friend!

  27. “Please, please, please cherish every single moment. Turn every meal into a banquet, every trip into a journey. Life is right here, right now. Milk it for everything you can.

    You’ll never regret taking the extra time to make every moment special.”

    I dont know you and I never knew Maggie and I havent lost anyone close to me due to Cancer… I have read your blog from start to finish and I check every day for updates. Why? Words like those that remind me that the love I have in my life is special and not everyone gets to experience it and sometimes those that do, dont realize how unique it is until it’s too late.
    Thank you Chris – yours may be a story that is repeated in people’s lives all over the world, but this is the one I would read in a book. Do it.

  28. Husband is a huge RUSH fan and Neil Peart, the drummer, lost both his wife and his only child in a matter of months. He wrote a book called, Ghost Rider that husband said is incredible to read.

    Also check out blurb (www.blurb.com). It’s a website that provides software to download to print your own book for $13. If for any reason you can’t get a publisher, become your own!

    And while I’ve never experienced what you’re going through, I do find myself reading your journal. You humanize this incredibly unimaginable event and as painful as it is to bare your soul you do it. You’re teaching us to put one foot in front of the other and I applaud you for that.

    I hope the HTML worked!
    =)

  29. Book cover: Maggie nude photo [she looks sooooo beautiful] ….
    Title: “Guts”
    Written: Maggie [first person]
    Authors: Chris & Maggie
    Maggie was a lawyer, so she should tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth in this book…

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