Thursday, January 10, 2013

Opening Up the Heart: A Cover Story for FRONT

My buddy Pam: The real deal.
There's something healing, soothing, magical, fulfilling, inspiring, invigorating--oh, hell, pick an adjective--about sitting down for a bit and talking to a recovering alcoholic who gets it.

Pam Rickard gets it and she and I just spent an hour on a bench downtown swapping stories, smiling, laughing, remembering some very difficult lessons and, in general, having a one-on-one AA meeting.

I'm doing a March cover piece for FRONT on people who've had major disruptions in their lives, but managed to continue working through those setbacks.

We're talking to people who've been addicted, had cancer and heart disease, seen marriages break up and lost a spouse to death. There's a paraplegic, a young girl with Type 1 diabetes who is still in high school and has her own business, and a woman with arthritis so bad that she should be in bed, but she's running a foundation. There's the retired professor who has cancer, but continues to study this particular phenomenon.

I've been a journalist for 18 months or so short of 50 years and I can't recall a story that moved me as this one has. I've seen such courage, wisdom, and persistence from these wonderful people.

They've opened their souls like peeling the bark from a birch tree. It's been lovely to see and you get to read it. And I get to write it. I feel honored and privileged.

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