I want to tell you a couple of stories about Wesley. The first takes place maybe a year or so ago. I’d posted a picture of my son and I on Facebook. We were in the hospital. He was less than an hour old. Still had the clamp in his navel and everything. Tons of likes came in. Comments like aw, how sweet. Beautiful. Then came Wesley, written in all lower case: well, that’s kinda pukey. That was Wesley.
But Wesley is the reason I wrote my book. I told him about it before I told anyone else – including my husband – and he simply said, “Sweetheart, go for it.” Those four words have echoed throughout my brain for the last decade while I’ve struggled with this project, through the rejections and the acceptances, the failures and achievements. Sweetheart, go for it.
That was Wesley too.
I can still hear his voice, so how can he be dead? And yet he is, and we are gathered here in his memory. He’s up there with a martini in one hand and a cigarette in the other, and he’s probably telling at least a few of us to go fuck ourselves.
I hope I’m one of them.
But here’s the thing: for all the pain he carried, the pain that eventually ended his existence, Wesley was here. You Are Here, the name of his book. And yes, he was.
Thank you, Wesley. Thank you.