There is no real easy way to write about this, so I’ll just put words down and let them lie where they fall. For those of you connected to me on Facebook or Twitter, you already know. On May 23rd, my best friend, my love, and my wife of twenty-two years, passed away suddenly.
I am still in shock. I’m very lucky in some respects. This happened while I was home and not on a trip. My wife was one of eight children. Between my family and friends, I have been inundated with support. I’ve got support of people who love me, and many strangers who I’ve never met. I cannot thank everyone who has helped me, but I hope you know that it is appreciated.
Right now I am trying my best to cover the basics - keeping my kids taken care of and preparing for the future. I’ve always been a bit forgetful, but over the past few weeks I’ve not been able to hold onto anything. (I’m working on that by basically writing everything down I can.) Parents at my eldest son’s school set up a “meal train” that has covered meals for me and will continue to do so for all of June and a bit beyond. I’m also slowly preparing myself to learn some basic meal items outside of what I normally feed them - chicken nuggets and mac and cheese.
Going forward, I’m not going to be travelling. This was a big part of my life as a developer advocate, and I loved being on the road. I absolutely missed my wife and kids while gone, but presenting was one of my favorite ways to try to help others. Heck, I even loved air travel. Of course having status helps make it better, but I truly enjoyed being on airplanes. (I’ve got a collection of near one hundred different pictures of commercial air craft.) Obviously it isn’t the only way I can help others. I blog, I work on documentation and samples for work, and can present virtually. I’m going to double down on that, although to be honest I expect things to be a bit rough for a bit.
I was originally scheduled to do a virtual presentation on Vue.js back on the 30th. Thankfully my rep at Pearson cancelled for me as I wasn’t in the right place to make a decision about that. The second session, which is June 22nd, should be doable and I’ll let folks know if things change.
I want to share a small story about my wife and I. A few years ago we began what became one of our most favorite traditions - finding and watching scary movies on Netflix. We both had similar tastes (low to no gore) and we would love finding obscure or smaller budget scary movies to watch together. Most of these were pretty bad, but even the bad movies were fun to watch. And every now and then we’d find a true gem that was amazing.
As I said - this was a small thing. Just one part of why I loved her. She was an incredible woman, and frankly, every thing you see me do - every book - every presentation - I credit to her support and care. A week or so before she passed, I let her know that I credit so much in my life, both the big things, and small, to her, and it really touched her. I almost didn’t share that as it seemed overly dramatic and silly, but I could tell it meant a lot to her. Again - I am lucky.
Please be patient with me. And again - to my friends who have reached out - I feel like I cannot thank you enough. To the hundreds who donated money to the fund set up by my good buddy… thank you feels so insignificant, but thank you.