Sometimes, she doesn’t know or believe some or all of the following. She thinks I don’t want you to know these things.
I’m incredibly proud of her, of her strength, her resilience, her courage, her heart, her wisdom.
I’m honored to be her friend. I have been hers, but imperfectly, and worse, at times. She has always forgiven me (so far), and I’m unspeakably grateful.
She teaches me, daily, about the value of life. She warns me explicitly and implicitly about the danger of taking life, of taking anything, for granted. She chastises me when I do, but more than that, she leads by example: she shows me, every day, what it means to value life, to thirst for it, to cherish it, to fight for it.
She inspires me with her generosity, even in (especially in) her moments of greatest suffering. She gives love to those who desperately need it, whom life cruelly has short-changed. She feels, in a bodily way, the suffering of those she loves, and she would do anything for them. Anything.
She helped me quit smoking (again). She helps me be a better father, and a better husband, both with explicit advice and simply by being a good listener, by asking smart questions.
She thinks I don’t mention her here, I haven’t mentioned her here (in a long time), because I don’t want it known that she is, over the last two years, the person other than my wife and son to whom I’m, truly, closest. The person outside of my nuclear family who makes me laugh, cry, to whom I tell my challenges, to whom I look for wisdom.
Let me be clear: she is all those things.
And she’s wrong that I don’t want you to know this all, to know that I care for her, that I love her. (Now, you do know.)
I haven’t written about her here out of perhaps misguided concern. There are people who don’t have her best interests at heart, people who want to hurt her. Some are just trolls on Twitter or the net. Others are real-life people who have (literally) tried to torture or kill her. Each kind of person has caused her serious harm in her life. She is more (and/but in some ways less) vulnerable than most to both.
My view had always been that anything I write here gives those people ammunition to use against her. The thought that anything I write might directly or indirectly cause her pain is a little more than I can bear.
Indeed, on at least one occasion, a hurtful troll did use information gleaned from my blog to hurt her.
And more than once, someone victimizing her has used information – or lies – about me to hurt, to scare, or simply to disequilibrate her. All of which makes me crazy.
So this post, it turns out, isn’t so much a post as it is a letter.
Jas, I think the world of you, and don’t mind if anyone knows it. I’m sorry that you doubted this even for a moment.