Letters and Such
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Before my book came out last October, I vowed to personally respond to every reader email and letter I received. After all, it was the least I could do to let someone know how much I appreciated them taking the time to reach out to me. I love receiving reader emails; it is the energy source that fuels my creativity. But my goal to answer every last one only lasted about five weeks before I became hopelessly overwhelmed. The more I answered, the more arrived in the inbox. And so I had to abandon that strategy. But I want all of you correspondents to know that I read every last one of your messages, whether you send them as emails or post them on my public message boards (which I prefer). I love hearing from you, love hearing your stories about your own saintly or devilish dogs, love hearing your family stories and, most of all, your reaction to my story.
Many of your notes touch me in a personal way, even if I can't always -- or even often -- respond personally to them. Here is one of those letters, received today from a woman in California:
I don't know where to start... I've never written to any editors, authors,
etc., but last night I finished reading your book Marley and Me. I started reading it on Saturday and by the time I finished it I was crying uncontrollably and trying not to get any of it on the book because I had promised to loan it to my boss; he has a yellow lab who just days ago chewed up a pair of expensive prescription glasses a night before an important meeting (my boss carefully glued them back together and wore them all scuffed up the next day) and as he told his story Monday morning I thought of Marley. I can't remember the last time a book reduced me to tears the way yours did.
Maybe it's the fact that I have a 13 year old pug who is blind and with hind legs trying to hold her up for dear life, unlike Marley she is small enough to carry and try to spare her the stairs, but it is amazing how in her efforts to shadow me she'll climb them up when I run upstairs to grab something. I was never a "pet person"; I kind of inherited her after my divorce and I can't tell you what a difference this made in my life.
My boyfriend didn't know how to react last night when he came to the room
carrying Maggie and there I was, a complete mess, feeling sorry for your
loss and my impending one, but I have to say that it also made realize that
past the eye ointment, arthritis medication, allergies and prescription
food, here's this amazing chubby creature with so many qualities I never
really stopped to count. So I thank you for that and I know my boss will
think his yellow Lab's steak stealing, candy-box devouring and glasses
chewing is just a drop in the bucket.
I enjoyed your book so much I found a few of your columns online this
morning and I have to say I love how you prompt us to stop and take a second
look at everyday life.
posted by John Grogan at 1:18 PM