I’ve consistently kept coming back to one word during the last week: Whoa. Whoa, as in, “I can’t believe I got to be a part of this.” Whoa, as in, “Did that really just happen?” Needless to say, it’s been quite an eventful week and not just because I was out — in another town, even — way past sundown!! Well, maybe that’s part of it, but there’s certainly a bigger reason: I had the honor of participating in the Pantsuit Nation Book launch and reading! Like I said, my head is still spinning from all the excitement.
Last month, I posted about being featured in the Pantsuit Nation Book and what an unbelievable honor it all is! Well, shortly before its release (you can purchase the book here), I received information about book launch events. They were happening all around the country and I was invited to attend the local one in the Chicago suburbs.
Side note: It must be pointed out here how excited my mom was about said event. Her face just beamed when she found out about it!
Anyway, I was in! And when they said I’d also have a chance to read my entry in the book out loud, I took a big, nervous gulp and say, “OK, let’s do this!” After all, this was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so how could I pass it up? The question answered itself, really.
Well, the day finally arrived. I was nervous, to be sure, but leave it to my mom to make an entire evening out of it! We drove there nice and early, found the venue, and then we went to a delicious Italian restaurant called Rosebud for pizza. My father used to call my sister and me ‘rosebud,’ so it felt sort of serendipitous and appropriate to be there. It felt like my father was with us and sharing that special night with us, even if he wasn’t physically sitting at the table; at least a piece of him was there.
After a delicious dinner, we walked (in the rain!) to the theater! I’ll admit that my heart was beginning to pound pretty loudly, but I was excited to meet fellow Pantsuiters and hear their stories. And boy did they have inspiring stories to share!
I spoke a little about what it means to live with a disability and then read my part of the book. Everyone else who shared just blew me away with their honesty and candor. Their stories were real and they spoke of trying with all their might to change things and leave a positive mark on the world. It was truly inspiring. It felt like the Pantsuit Nation Facebook group had sprouted legs and was living and breathing in the real world at long last.
Plus, it so warmed my heart to see my middle school counselor and secretary in the audience. Their support, along with my mother and sister’s, truly meant the world to me.
And something tells me I have Harry’s support too. That’s him sitting on the Pantsuit Nation tote bag. The first social justice/feminist cat? Oh, I think so…
But seriously, I’m SO honored to be a part of this book, this movement and this future! I’m in the company of so many amazing people and can’t thank Libby Chamberlain enough for sparking a revolution! Because as dark as everything seems right now, I know there’s a brighter future ahead. For all of us… xoxo
(Thanks to my mom, as always, for snapping these awesome photos!)
Kathy Rackley says
I just read your story in Good Housekeeping.! It was so heartwarming, sweet and real! You are a very gifted writer. Thank you for sharing.! Yes mam, you are beautiful!
This is so incredible! What an amazing opportunity for you, in so many ways (book and in person), and it is like the PSN sprouted legs and became a real living thing! I would have loved to have been there!
I just got finished reading your article in Good Housekeeping, and it truly touched my heart! Congratulations on your achievements! You are such an inspiration to many and an Awesome writer. God has Big Plans for you!!! 🙂 I love the pic of your cat!