Before I knew anything else about Jane, I learned about her nonbelief and her terminal stage 4 cancer. Her social media post halted my crazy morning just long enough to send a courteous reply. But as I went about the menial tasks of life, one sentence wouldn’t let go of my heart. “I was thinking today about how convenient it would be to believe.” When I got home from work that evening I wrote to Jane, told her about my blog, and asked if she would be willing to share her story with my readers.
I’m so happy to say that I know a lot more about Jane now. I’ve seen her home, if only in pictures, and the breathtaking beach where she walks with her dog. We have shared thoughts about the weather and foods we like. She has seen photos of my daughter and my cats. Last week, I was granted the honor of interviewing Jane, and I can’t wait to share her story with you! But even more importantly, I was granted the honor of a new friend, of connecting with someone across the world and sharing support and kindness.
Last week I blogged about family, and since then I have noticed that family has been a recurring theme in the social media sites I frequent and in passing conversations. Maybe it’s the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon. You know that strange illusion of frequency when your brain decides to focus on something? (It’s usually illustrated with cars, but I bet it would work with tacos, too, and I intend to investigate.) Could it be that because I had written a blog post about family, I was noticing how many people seem to be longing for one? Or is it because we are entering a season of celebrations, a time when gatherings happen and plans and memories are made? This is the season in which family hovers like a mist, unmovable, over our fields of thought.
I am always looking for ways to celebrate my diverse human family. That’s why I’ve decided to embark on a new and exciting endeavor here, at Love over Religion. Beginning with Jane, every month or so I will replace a blog post with an interview. I want to share not only my thoughts and whatever slivers of wisdom I’ve managed to accrue from my own journey, but also to connect with others and learn from their stories. I’d like my little blog to become an immense family dinner table, an affirming and safe global meeting place where we can be ourselves completely, and still be part of something greater.
If you haven’t already, please hit the follow button so you won’t miss Jane’s interview. It takes a lot of courage to talk about the things she’s going to share with us. And for those of us who gain an hour this weekend, let’s fill it with celebrations: that extra hug or homemade meal, or quiet reflection, or dancing in the rain.