Thursday, March 19, 2009

Dewey's Read-a-Thon

You know, in a way, I don't want to write this post. Because the last thing I want to do is sound overly dramatic or anything. I first met Dewey when she was planning the very first read-a-thon. And I was immediately drawn to her. How could one not be, right? Over the next year plus, I came to know her as a very dear friend. And I participated in all three read-a-thons. Hell, I lived for Dewey's read-a-thons! Anyone who has read my blog for a while knows that...I don't think I ever did a very good job at hiding my over-the-top giddy joy when it came to the read-a-thons. ;)

I'm so grateful to Nymeth and Trish and WordLily for taking on the job of continuing what Dewey started, and which they were so kind to help Dewey with during the last one. I can only imagine how hard it must be for them. But I hope they know how much their work is appreciated.

Personally, I've gone back and forth and back and forth about whether I even wanted to read this time. On the one hand, I couldn't imagine doing it...and on the other, I couldn't imagine not doing it. Then yesterday, when Rich and Annie got home from school, I told them that the dates had been announced for the next read-a-thon. Annie's eyes immediately welled-up with tears and she said, "Oh but Mom, it just won't be the same." And at that moment, I sort of knew that we should do it. I told Annie that she was right, that it certainly wouldn't be the same. But that Dewey had worked so hard, so unselfishly to put these read-a-thons together to bring everyone else a day of fun, and that I knew in my heart, that she surely wouldn't want us to give up on that because we missed her.

And then Rich said, "So guys, where are we going to go this time?" And at that moment it slammed me upside the head that the gifts Dewey had given me were even more numerous than I'd realized. Without even counting the wonderful gift of her friendship, with the read-a-thon alone she'd bestowed upon me so much. Of course, there were the actual read-a-thon days filled with 24 glorious hours lost amid the pages. And Annie joined me for the last two read-a-thons, so there was that wonderful added bonus of mommy-daughter bonding in such a fun way. And it turns out it was a gift for my guys, too...who have turned the read-a-thon weekends into special daddy-sons events. And then throw in the incredible gift of friendships first made through the read-a-thon...for instance, that's were I first met (and marveled at!) the sweet Eva, whose friendship I absolutely cherish. So, while Annie was right about it not being the same, I've decided it would be wrong of me to throw Dewey's wonderful gifts away. So yes, I think we will be reading again.

Again, let me apologize if I'm being too personal here. But I know I'm not alone in still missing Dewey so much it physically hurts. And I'm just not going to pretend I don't.

So...who else is reading???

A blog has been set up for the appropriately named Dewey's Read-a-Thon. They've got tons of info available over there. But first thing everyone should do...clear your calendar for the weekend of April 18/19.

12 comments:

Eva said...

I was rereading my read-a-thon posts, in my excitement yesterday, and every time I came across one of Dewey's comments, tears welled up. Oh-I'm doing it again now.

It won't be the same, but I think Dewey would be happy that it's continuing, you know? I ended up deciding I couldn't do the last one, because I was afraid my fibro would go crazy and I was in grad school. But now I'm really sad that I missed my last opportunity to spend that time with Dewey (I was going to be one of her helpers, along with Nymeth). She understood of course, since she had fibro herself. Still...

I'm going to be reading and cheerleading. So we're all in it together! (And I cherish your friendship as well.)

Trish said...

Oh Debi--you brought tears to my eyes. What a touching post, and while there are debates either way, I think that Dewey would want us to carry on. Especially in her memory. Plus, you're one of my favorite cheerleaders/people to cheer for and it wouldn't be the same without you. I'm thrilled that you and Annie will be reading again and that your wonderful husband will tend to the guys.

Becky said...

I'll be reading, I plan on it anyway! It won't be the same. And it is sad to think about how very different it will be. She was the energy and drive behind it. But I'd hate to see the Readathon 'fail to thrive' so to speak...so I'll be participating.

bookworm said...

I'm definitely doing it! One of my first thoughts when I found out about Dewey was selfish...I wondered what would become of the readathon. I've only been in one readathon and loved it. I'm so excited to do it again and not make some of the same mistakes I did last time. I may even try to stay up a while instead of just doing a 13 hour readathon.

Kailana said...

I was never able to time it so I could do the read-a-thons, but I did enjoy reading all the posts from the participants and seeing what they could manage in 24 hours. :) I am trying to decide if I can participate this year or not.

I really enjoyed your post, though, Debi. :)

Nymeth said...

Debi my dear, as I told you before I would more than understand if you decided you couldn't do it again. Having said that, however, I can't tell you how happy it makes me that you're joining us. Nor how much it means to me.

I won't be the same, no. But it's up to all of us, readers, cheerleaders and helpers, to do our best to make it as good as it can possibly be. It will be different from previous read-a-thons, of course, but I have faith that we'll all make the most of it.

Ali said...

Lovely post. This will be my first Read-a-thon, as I had other obligations last time and couldn't do it. Planning on involving my kids as well. I'm sad that we never got to do a Read-a-thon with Dewey, but so happy that others are continuing her efforts.

Susan said...

I never got the chance to participate in the readathons with Dewey, though I longingly thought about them. I'm still not certain I can, but I will go check out being a cheerleader. Apart from that, what a lovely post, Debi, about someone that I miss, and now I know a little of how much you miss her too.

Chris said...

I'm in for sure Debi! It really won't be the same without Dewey...it makes me almost cry now even thinking about it. But I just know that she'll be there with us i some way and that it's going to be a great celebration of all she did. so sad, but I know she'd want us to keep on going!

I met Eva through the first read-a-thon too by the way :) That was a great day!

Jean said...

I don't know if I'd be able to do it even if I were at home, but I'll be in the Netherlands that weekend, showing Steve a wee bit of the land of his birth. I will check in when I can, though, and try to offer my support. One of the nice things about the month in Hue is having a bit of time to read or at least being able to read without feeling guilty about other things being neglected. I'm glad you and Annie are going to do it again; it's a nice tribute to Dewey.

sophisticateddorkiness.com said...

I've only participated in one Read-a-Thon, as a cheerleader, but it was such a fun time. Even though it won't be the same, I think it's so important that the Read-a-Thon is still happening. Although I didn't know Dewey personally, I'm almost positive she'd be glad we're all still doing it.

Kim

P.S. Ali at Wordcoupia pointed me to your post, which is awesome of her :)

Somer said...

Oh, how I wish I could participate this time! But alas, I'm scheduled to work that Saturday! I'm hoping Laura will read for me!