I don't typically put personal information on this blog but today is the one year anniversary of the death of my dog, Shinji.
Shinji was my Pomeranian, a pup that meant so much to me that it's hard to put into words. He had his own hashtag on Instagram and a very small (but very dedicated) internet following. Shinji weighed about 10 pounds but had a personality the size of Texas. He was 11 years old when he passed, young for a Pomeranian, and he passed away from a year long battle with kidney failure that you can read about on my tumblr if you're interested: http://bit.ly/28RIhFS
I'm writing about Shinji here because one year ago, he passed away and then two days latter, I left town for the ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco and I presented on a national scale for the very first time. It was one of the most challenging things emotionally I've gone through as an adult. And I never, ever, would have made it through that week if it hadn't been for my library community.
Since I tend to spend a lot of time online, many of my fellow librarians knew about our loss and they rallied around me. One friend took me under her wing, made sure I went to dinners and sessions. A group of us went to watch the Pride Parade, which was such a historical event after the Marriage Equality ruling. Another librarian friend came with me to explore the city of San Francisco, which was such a day of healing for me. We took a touristy boat tour, walked around the city, and I ended the day at a beautiful restaurant on the bay with some staggeringly talented women in the field. I was sun burnt and still broken and sad. But so inspired and just a little better than I was when I left Chicago.
So this is a belated thank you to my amazing fellow librarians, my friends, to the people who surrounded me with love and knowledge and compassion during our annual conference last year. I can't think of many fields with such a support system. I feel so blessed to be among you all.
When I think about the numbers of librarians heading towards Orlando right now, I feel so confident that the compassion I was shown last year will be shown in that city that needs so much peace. What an amazing community that I get to be a part of. I will not be in there with you guys but I know you will learn a lot, spread love and knowledge, and in a small way, help Orlando to heal.
Have a wonderful conference, my friends. And thank you.