I have what I call, “The Face.” It’s what you see when you look at me. More specifically, it’s what I show when I let anyone see me. I have worked hard to make it look exactly like it did at the beginning of April. It’s exhausting arranging the face, keeping it steady, not letting it crack.

So when I have to leave the house, I put on The Face. It’s the one that smiles and says she’s “hanging in there.” For the last five plus months, I’ve convinced myself that The Face is for everyone else. So they think I am “OK,” that I’m surviving. But really, it’s for me. So no one treats me differently or asks me how I’m doing. So I don’t have to burden anyone by answering that question honestly. So they don’t have to give me a pep talk or comfort me or be in the awkward position of trying to fix things.

I’ve kept my friends at bay, but they have been waiting for me patiently. They think of me through their own ups and downs. They’ve had inexplicable pain, family strife, surgeries, lost grandparents, or are battling cancer, and they still think of me. It’s time for me to be a better friend to all of them. To stop pushing them away when they just want to be there for me.

So I have started leaving my house. I spent a peaceful weekend on a gorgeous sailboat with my friends.

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I spoke at a conference in North Carolina and got a literal lift from another.

In two weeks we are going to the wedding of two dear friends I introduced many years ago.

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And then there are all the people that come here. I know it isn’t always easy to read about our life, I’m certain you all have your own things going on. I know you could close your browser and never return here again. But you still come and support us, and I am so thankful.

Going back out into the world without my beautiful daughter by my side is overwhelming. The Face is my crutch. And even though you know it’s there, pretend it isn’t.

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