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26 March 2010 @ 03:22 pm
all that you love will be carried away  
In November of last year I attended a single day of the Chicago Supernatural Convention. I was busy on Friday, and Sunday was already sold out, so I went on Saturday. I wore my Misha's Minions T-shirt, watched Jim Beaver and Misha Collins thoroughly charm a hotel ballroom full of (mostly) women, and at the end of the day I had my picture taken with Jim and Misha together. I didn't get any autographs, I didn't ask any questions, I didn't bid on any items or buy any of the stuff for sale in the room outside the ballroom. With the exception of the photograph, I was purely a spectator.

When I bought my ticket, I really wanted a photo with Misha. Preferably just Misha. I mean, I liked Jim Beaver just fine, but I wasn't exactly wearing his name on my chest and referring to him as the Overlord, if you catch my drift. But by the time I placed my order, the single shots were all sold out, and all that was left was the duo. Which was fine by me.

The sequence of events went something like this: I was hustled into the room (and I mean that nicely - the line moved quickly, and everyone was very polite), I saw Misha, and I was dazzled. He wanted to see the design on my shirt, so I turned towards him, with my back to Jim. Then I stood between them, my arms around their backs. The camera flashed. I stepped away, turned briefly back towards Misha - to thank him? to look at him again? - when the cameraman told me the picture didn't work, and we had to do it again. I'm not sure if there was a technical issue, or if I'm just so extemely un-photogenic that he took pity on me. So I stood between them once more, feeling extremely aware of the texture of Misha's black vest under my fingers, and the heat of his back beneath my palm. Then it was over. I stepped away again - I think I may have turned back to say thank you, but I'm not sure - and then I left the room and the girl in line behind me took my place.

I realized as I collected my purse that I'd barely even looked at Jim Beaver. I felt a little bad about that. It's not like me to get starstruck. I've met a few celebrities, and I have friends who've met with public success. I'm very aware that famous people are still people. But for those thirty seconds, I was a wide-eyed fangirl.

Then, in January of this year, I read Life's That Way. I'd owned the book for a couple of months already, but had put off reading it because the subject matter seemed so grim, and, honestly, I was nervous about the writing. I wasn't drawing much distinction between Jim Beaver and Bobby Singer, and I didn't know what to expect. I picked it up because I'd been trying to process some grief of my own, and I figured at the very least, the book would make me cry.

Understatement of the century.

I was not prepared for what I read. I was not expecting Jim to be so open, honest, and heartbreakingly human. I was not expecting the writing to be so clear, so sharp, or so layered with insight and emotion. I am not generally a fan of memoirs, and, as a cancer survivor, I'm really not a fan of the cancer narrative. I understand the value, but I have a hard time digesting it. I read the book in an attempt to access some suppressed emotion. It was an attempt at catharsis. But it became much more. 

Jim Beaver quickly emerged as a person for me. His wife, Cecily, became real, a woman with friends and family, with the kinds of flaws and virtues only those close to you can see. A deep vein of love - for Cecily, for Maddie, and for all the friends and family who supported them - runs through the heart of this book. I read and cried until my chest ached, but not just for myself or my own loss. Cecily Adams was real. She was alive, she was loved, and she died. I cried for her loss, and for the simple, terrible fact that those we love can, and sometimes do, die. And the world keeps moving, expecting you to keep up.

I knew then that if I ever got the chance to meet Jim Beaver again, I was not going to turn my back on him.

I'm thinking of this stuff for two reasons. One is the obvious - last night's episode of SPN. Just about broke my heart.

The other is today's date. Today was supposed to be my due date. Today I was supposed to be one of three things: 1) extremely pregnant, fending off "when are you going to pop" jokes; 2) in labor; 3) holding my baby. Instead, I'm futzing around, spending my off day in front of the computer instead of out in the sun, alternating between Thinking About It and Trying Not To Think About It.

I know, this may be a little personal, and I'm still new to posting here. But most of the people I know in real life don't know. I wasn't showing yet, and I still hadn't told people. (My first miscarriage, in 2008, taught me the value of keeping my mouth shut. Un-telling is unbearable.) The few people I did tell either never knew or have forgotten the meaning of this date. And what could they say, anyway? It's not something I like to talk about.

SIgh. This post got really depressing really fast. 

But, hey. The world keeps turning, and I'm getting better at keeping up. Life's That Way actually helped me a lot. I wanted to bring it to this year's convention to get it signed, but it looks like Jim Beaver won't make it. That's okay - maybe he'll be there next year, or maybe I'll hit up another city's convention. (A girl can hope.) In the meantime, I have plenty of things to keep me going. I love my husband. My grad school application is currently under review. I'm really loving recording podfics, and everyone I've interacted with on LJ so far has been extremely cool. And, this coming October, I'll be getting an autograph and my picture taken with the Supreme Overlord Misha Collins. Maybe this time I won't look quite so much like I've been hit by a beautiful, blue-eyed Mack truck. Maybe I'll actually keep my wits.

Yeah. And maybe we'll drink milkshakes together - oh wait, no, that's weirdly plausible something to do with unicorns and rainbows...oh, nevermind.
 
 
 
Hepcat: Dean closeup all_at_oncenwhepcat on March 26th, 2010 08:44 pm (UTC)
It must be so heartbreaking to have all those hopes and plans centered on a date, and then to have the date come this way -- I'm thinking of you today!

I'm just getting to know you, so I don't know if you're a ::hugs:: person, but if you are, there's one with your name on it.

(And yeah, Jim Beaver is an open-hearted guy, isn't he? I've been able to tell that just from Twitter and Facebook -- and I couldn't help thinking about HIM last night, as well as Bobby.)

Um, ya know, we don't live terribly far away from one another...
nickelmountainnickelmountain on March 26th, 2010 09:26 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I'll take that ::hug::.

Like most people, I tend to mark time with anniversaries. I attach import to calendar dates. I think I have to teach myself some other way of thinking.

You're in Wisconsin, right? We don't have a car (I never learned to drive), so I don't get out of the city much, unless it's through Midway or O'Hare. But yes, I'd like that.

I hope your day has gotten better. Medical bureaucracy is always some combination of *facepalm* and *headdesk*.
Hepcat: dean sam road all at oncenwhepcat on March 26th, 2010 11:44 pm (UTC)
I ended up doing a fair amount of work writing (particularly considering how tough it's been lately), so it feels like not such a bad day. I can't decide if there's my last Pinguino in my future, or some Girl Scout cookies....

Yep, I'm in Wisconsin. I have a couple of thoughts. Maybe a meetup in Milwaukee if you ever train it there, or I could head all the way to Chicago and we could hang out.

I spent 20 years in NYC without a car, so I know how that goes, especially in transit-free zones like my cowtown. But you're probably transit savvy. Shoot me a message and let me know what seems like it might work!

And I'll make it official, then -- ::hugs::