Now that YOU’D BETTER NOT DIE OR I’LL KILL YOU is out and getting lots of media attention, so is Michael. And the scrutiny is a little daunting for him. When this article appeared on Huffington Post the other day, it featured the above photo and I think it finally dawned on him that this wasn’t just my book. It was our book – the story of how he has a chronic illness and I’m his caregiver and how all the other opinions I solicited (caregivers, therapists, health experts, etc.) fed into it.
But it wasn’t until my book party that he really became the center of attention – in a good way. The party was at a beautiful wellness center and spa in downtown Santa Barbara called Alchemy Arts Center.
I’ll have photos of the event soon, but in the meantime suffice it to say we had a great crowd that night and Mary, the co-owner/manager at my neighborhood’s Tecolote Book Shop in Montecito, handled the bookselling honors, and Michael played host with aplomb. What’s more, several people on line to have their copies of the book signed said to me, “After you sign this I want Michael to sign it too.” That was a first.
I gave a little talk before I signed and afterwards one of our friends asked, “I’d like to know how Michael feels about being so exposed in the book.” I acknowledged that my husband was, indeed, “exposed” in the sense that his disease and its complications over the years are on full display. “Before I turned in the manuscript of the book,” I said to our friend, “I made sure Michael read over every word. I told him if there was anything that made him uncomfortable I’d take it out. He did say there were a few things he wasn’t thrilled with, but after a day or two he came back and said, ‘If they’ll help someone else dealing with all this, leave them in.'”
Michael’s a brave man in many ways, not the least of which is that he said, “If they’ll help someone else, leave them in.” He deserves to be the star.