Serving Writer_Feminist_Nonprofiteer Daily, 6am-11pm
"Job held his fist up, asking ‘Why, why, why?’ to which God responded, 'You’re not asking the right question'. " Bruce Schell, Kay's husband
the twisting mountains of NC’s kookiest town, I visited Kay, a clinical
psychologist and ex-tennis pro whose bucolic home belies the challenges
of living with chronic illness, as well as her husband’s, Bruce,
terminal stomach cancer. One sunlit afternoon with Bruce, Kay, and
Kay’s beloved partner in dog therapy, Misha, I asked them about
faith, and why we bother inviting love in when life is so
cruel. This couple, tested by (and soon to be separated by) forces we
can never understand, are significant to me because I began to truly
face what I wanted from this journey. Bruce
died in December 2011- I spoke to Kay, who misses him
unbearably. But in this moment, in the summer before:
Kay and her sweet
Misha embrace and things feel peaceful.
took pictures of the “his-and-her easy chairs” in the living room when I
first arrived. I liked the natural and long-term image of them, before I
knew Bruce would pass soon. I'm including his chair in the book. I debated it, felt maudlin and fake and disrespectful.
I think about Bruce almost everyday, and look at that picture often,
how stable, soft and real it is. I only met him for a few hours, once.
But it’s a loss more people should know about, because he was so strong
in his faith and the love of his woman. I am so grateful to have spent
time with him and Kay. I included this chair in the colorful, funky
collage of Asheville because it is the thing I remember most. lt’s
them I think about when I wonder if I’m making any kind of difference
with this project, if I can do justice to any of these wonderful people
who want to help me.