Today is Thanksgiving, and I knew I wanted to post something special for the holiday. I looked in all my usual places, but nothing felt quite right. But when I saw this artist’s beautiful tribute to his wife, I had a good cry, and knew it was just the thing.
I have a lot to be grateful for. I have a good job, great friends, a wonderful family, relatively good health, but when I count my blessings, I am most grateful for my Beloved. She is my best everything, and I can’t imagine my life without her.
A few years ago, Disney animation director Gary Andrews decided to start a doodle-a-day diary on Twitter. When the diary began, most of his drawings were about his happy family; his wife Joy, and their two young children. Then in October of 2017, the unthinkable happened. While Gary was away on business, Joy suddenly developed sepsis and died. He never even got to say goodbye. The Andrews family was forever changed, and Gary’s doodle diary became a way for him to express his feelings of grief and loneliness, and his fears at becoming a single parent.
“I was crying so hard it was difficult to focus on the page. I was drawing through tears. Joy had been my soulmate for 19 years. She was beautiful, kind, generous and funny. We did everything together. When I lost her, I felt half of me had gone.””
It’s not all heart-rending. Like any family, the Andrews have good days and bad, and Gary generously shares both with us. His diary is a wonderful tribute to his wife, a testimony to the resilience of the human spirit, and a painful reminder of the fragility of life. Let’s try to be grateful for every day we get with the people we love.
Wishing everyone (from everywhere) a very happy Thanksgiving. Go hug your people.
You can follow the up and down adventures of Gary Andrews and his family on Twitter.
All images property of Gary Andrews.