A lady called my office yesterday & asked my secretary if she could get issues 1 & 2 of It’s all in the JOURNEY. I called her back the next day to explain that I’d be glad to send her issue #2, but I did not want to give out anymore of issue 1 because there are only about 75 left out of the original 10,000 and they were very special to me; a realization of a dream.
She asked who she was speaking to.
When I told her who I was, she got very excited and said, “Charlie G! It is such an honor to talk to you!”
It took me aback.
People tell me they love the magazine, the art work, the columns, even my writing,
And I like that.
Because then I know God is still with me;
(I could not even pretend that I do this stuff by myself).
But when she told me it was an honor to talk to me,
It made me…uncomfortable.
Did she not know who I was? Really?
I told her, “Lady, I am just an alcoholic & addict. I am nobody.”
She told me she worked for ******, (a company that has multiple treatment centers in multiple states), and that she was in recovery too. “I’ve gone back to school & gotten a bunch of letters to add after my name, but I know it’s one day at a time.”
She continues telling me how much she loved It’s all in the JOURNEY.
“The covers, Detox Diary, Prose Posse, they are just great!” She gushed.
“Detox Diary is my column.” I said, “It’s about me deciding to get clean, and fighting to stay clean, after losing my daughter.”
“Joy” She said simply, “Yes, I know. She was beautiful.”
I was taken aback, again.
I mention Joy a lot in the magazine; the magazine is dedicated to her & came to be to keep a promise I made to her to live a life she could be proud of, instead of the life I’d been living, And also?
So Joy would not be forgotten.
She sits in the O of JOURNEY on each cover, she is in the masthead & you will usually find her in my column or the Table of Contents.
But that this lady knew her name, & spoke it with such a casual intimacy – it touched me.
“I want to tell you something, Charlie. How funny God is. My husband & I have been trying to have a baby for years and we just found out a few months ago that it isn’t going to happen.
I didn’t know if I was going to be able to stay sober when I heard that, We’ve wanted a child so badly, for so long. But then I came across your magazine. I read all your stories about you & your daughter Joy, and something happened.” She said.
“Reading about you and Joy, and what happened to her, I realized that if you could go on the way you have, not just never having a child, but having one and then losing her, then I knew I could make it, too.”
I didn’t know what to say, except thank her, and then she told me something that completely humbled me, to the point of wanting to cry with either happiness or sadness – I didn’t know which.
I’m going to tell you something else, but I don’t want it to sound hokey.
I, and I’m sure it must be true for a lot of people who can’t have children or have lost a child, who read your magazine;
I feel like I have a child when I read the stories you write about you & Joy. I am right there with you, I feel your love, pain, happiness, pride and hurt for her in each story, and I wanted you to know that it helps me.
That’s why I wanted to get the first two issues, I haven’t read them yet.”
What do you say to that?
What can you say to that?
To know that someone else knows Joy,
Sees her; is right there with her in my stories,
That Joy is still alive in someone else’s head besides mine,
And that she is helping someone even now…
How do you put that feeling into words?
She humbled me.
That’s what I told her.
And that I’d send her the 1st and 2nd issues.
My words helped this lady.
This lady’s words help me.
So easy, to make it easier.