fill me up and keep me going

One of my beloved readers commented on a recent blog post. I know nothing about her save she shares my sister-in-law's name, Julia. The first time she wrote I begged the question and she explained that, no, she was not my sister-in-law but rather a random reader. At times she has signed, "Julia RR."

When I hear from readers I am often reminded of the deep fondness I sometimes have for those who are essentially strangers to me. At times I feel more compassion, empathy and concern—more of a connection—from these individuals than I do from some members of my own family. Their thoughtful comments fill me up and keep me going. This is what Julia wrote:

Yesterday you posted this: "Since then I’ve tried hard to put myself in others shoes, tried to walk just one puny mile in them, and yet can never fathom the marathon of their suffering. I try to make a difference in some small ways—do what I can—but it's never enough." This approaches an explanation of why I keep reading your blog, but it's not complete. It's missing something.

And then today, you posted this: "the burden, heartache and delight of a disabled child like Calvin," and that's the missing piece. The delight of ... Calvin. I don't understand it, I can't fathom it, but it's there, and you share it along with the heartache and burden. And by reading and trying to understand, I am stretched.

Thank you.
not-your-sister-in-law Julia

To know that what I write can "stretch" someone—something I aspire to do as much as possible in my own life—is humbling and deeply gratifying. To see those words written down in front of my own eyes and to know that this reader and a handful of others, some who live thousands of miles away, think about me and Calvin and take the time to tell me as much, simply warms my soul.

Thank you, dear reader(s) for your genuine devotion, your candor and your love. You take me from one day into the next.


  1. Well - now I feel the need to tell you that I faithfully read your posts every day! Your writing is beautiful, and I think of you, Calvin and Michael daily. Isn't it strange how we can feel that we "know" someone so well without ever speaking?
    - Jackie F.

  2. dear paula, you make my heart swell with joy. thank you.

  3. You know I'm "here" too, in Italy but close to your hearts.


    1. yes, i know federica. and for that i am so grateful. xo

  4. I wrote a comment yesterday and didnt publish it! I will today however - because I want you to know I am here too reading your words and listening to your heart. I love your writing and love, love to hear about sweet Calvin. You are such a rockstar of a momma. xoxo Marcia

  5. thank you so much, marcia. xo to you too.