I get by with a little help from my friends. Or, a lot of help from my friends. It was true when Dave and I were living this story, and it remains true afterward, now that Dave and I are writing about it.
As we finished up our early draft of BEAUTY IN THE BROKEN PLACES, it became clear that there was one person and one person only to write the Foreword for this project.
Lee Woodruff. Have you had the pleasure of reading Lee’s work or getting to know her singularly charming personality through her various platforms (philanthropic work, television, blogging, book writing)? Lee is a one of a kind.
“I’m here, as your friend, to welcome you to The Club of the Bad Thing.” Those were Lee’s words to us in the earliest days after Dave’s stroke, as I sat, pregnant and alone and so scared in a neuro-ICU in Fargo, wondering whether my husband would survive. Wondering how I would survive. How my family would survive the hell into which we’d so suddenly been dropped.
Lee was there to welcome me, and she stayed there, an unwavering friend to Dave and to me on this journey for which we never signed up. Lee was a constant, a mentor, a sounding board. She was the phone call when I needed to bring in the big guns and do some serious crying or question asking.
That’s because Lee, and her wonderful husband Bob, have lived through their own brain injury nightmare. They’ve experienced the soul-shaking loss that happens in an instant when your loved one’s brain is no longer the mind you’ve always known and loved.
When we spoke to Lee about our fear, our sadness, our sense of loss, even our hope—she got it. All of it. Lee’s words of encouragement or commiseration came from a deep place of understanding, of having walked a path so much like our own and having survived. Even thrived. Of having come out of it on the other end, her life and family altered, yes, but still full of love and laughter and gratitude.
We are so honored—thrilled—that Lee has leant her voice to BEAUTY IN THE BROKEN PLACES. Lee’s generosity of spirit, her way with words, and her side-splitting humor add so much to this project, just as Lee adds so much to the world in which she lives.
So thank you, Lee. On behalf of all the readers whose experience of BEAUTY IN THE BROKEN PLACES will be enriched because your voice is a part of the project, thank you.
Allison & Dave