Friday, May 6, 2011

For My Sister

A month or so ago, my sister Mary found out about a book signing in St. Louis. Mary doesn’t live in St. Louis, so she wrote on my Facebook wall that I should go to the book signing for her. Since I’m such a generous sister (I wanted to go anyway), I made plans to attend.

If you’re a big blogger, you may recognize this man.IMGP0617-
If not, here’s the scoop: his name is Matt Logelin and he wrote a book called Two Kisses for Maddy. It’s a memoir of his life with and without his wife, who died the day after she gave birth to their daughter. Matt blogged here (and still does) about the experience, and then wrote his first book which was released last month. But this loss hasn’t been just a woe-is-me-poor-guy story. In becoming a widower, Matt found out how little support there is for widows and widowers raising kids on their own. He started a foundation to help others in similar situations, and he’s passionate about promoting it.

I was 20 minutes late to the book signing because I went to the wrong library in downtown St. Louis. (Y’all should NEVER let me go downtown by myself. It’s really not safe for me OR other drivers and pedestrians!) After a phone call to my sister who was having dinner in North Carolina, I finally found the right place and listened to Matt finish reading a portion of his book. He took questions from the audience, which ranged from questions on photography to grief to infant fashion fails-turned-victories, and talked openly and honestly about his bittersweet journey.

When the Q&A was over, everyone got in line to meet Matt and have their books autographed. Lucky me, I found my friend Gina in the room. (We had no idea the other one was going; we should have carpooled and MAYBE I wouldn’t have been late! And then maybe she wouldn’t have had her near-death experience on the way home!) I should have known she would be going to meet Matt. Gina is starstruck AND she blogs, so getting to meet a blogger who has written such an emotionally moving book is right up her alley!

We waited in line and finally met Matt, and I didn’t make a complete idiot of myself. (For once!) I told Matt how my sister really wanted me to meet him and was wondering what his voice sounds like, so he was kind enough to record a message to her.

I got Matt’s autograph (he signed my book: “To Elizabeth, I hope you don’t hate this!”), then he posed for a photo with me.IMGP0629-
It was an honor to meet Matt, not just because he’s a real-live author (swoon!), but because he bears such unbearable scars of grief. Our situations differ greatly, but I know how tremendously hard grief can be and I have the utmost respect for him because of that.

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