First, the personal:
As most of our readers know by now, one of my best friends, and co-editor/publisher of the TPC blog site, recently passed away: R.I.P. Paddy.
Sitting here physically writing this post is an excruciating reminder of how different it feels to do that without my my friend, my other half, my partner in crime, my co-editor, my Paddy. It is so not business as usual, so not routine, so not what it's felt like for the past seven years to sit at my WordPress editing window and type, knowing she won't be there to bounce off of. It is strange, eery, uncharted territory, and it hurts more than I can even begin to say.
I'm at a total loss here. I've never felt so lost and sad. I've never lost a close friend before, and certainly not someone who I also worked hand-in-hand with, someone I depended on and spoke to every single day, someone who I shared so much with, both personally and professionally, someone who was as invested as I was in both friendship and work/political activism.
Paddy and I never met, but we knew each other really well. We were there for each other day and night. We covered for each other, hatched plans together, raised funds together, snarked together, went after political opponents and trolls together, loved mutual pals together, adored animals together, laughed together, cried together, and we protected each other.
Now there is a conspicuous void, I feel empty, small, cold, unprotected. I feel like Robert Redford in the middle of the ocean, watching myself sink, and don't know where to turn. It's wave after wave of being totally overwhelmed, unbelievably sad, lonely, and rudderless for the first time in my life.
I've received literally hundreds of sweet, supportive comments, tweets, emails, text messages, and online chats. Paddy was so clearly loved and will be so painfully missed by all of us. You all made that obvious, which was more comforting and appreciated than I can possibly express here. You are our virtual family.
So many friends have asked me to call them, to let them help me through this. I'm not even close to the point of being able to speak out loud about this without dissolving into tears, so great thanks to each and every one of you, but I simply cannot talk, not even to Lucian. But I am immensely grateful. Thank you. Thank you.
Yesterday I tried to get out, had lunch with a dear friend. We went to a clam shack in Malibu. The weather was perfect, sunny and warm, clear and blue. The ocean was sparkling, the dolphins were leaping out of the water, and I lasted less than an hour. I felt lightheaded and had to leave. So please understand if I don't answer every tweet, every call, every caring message. I can barely function, and yes, this is very unlike me. Too much has piled on lately. Thank you for your many, many kind expressions of concern, but I'm okay, I just need time.
Next, the logistical:
Paddy will be cremated and a short reception will be held on January 26 in her home town in Indiana. We are trying to arrange for a fundraiser here at TPC to help pay for expenses and ease the burden on Paddy's husband Jeff. As soon as we can organize the logistics, we will post a notice.
And speaking of logistics, the future of The Political Carnival is currently up in the air. Before Paddy passed away, I told her about an idea I had to shake up the look and direction of TPC, and she liked it. So did Lucian. So did every tech person I went to for help. There was a reason for the proposed changes: Apparently I'm suffering from "complicated grief" since my dad's passing, and my doctors wanted me to stop working altogether. I couldn't do that to Paddy, just abandon her and leave her with the huge responsibility of handling everything here, a major effort I assure you. So my solution was a change in format. If we can swing it technically, then we can continue. If not, then we need to rethink everything.
I just thought you'd like to know that. For now, I will likely post when I feel up to it. David is now employed, so I'm pretty much on my own.
What all this means to you: For now, no morning breaking news that Paddy would provide because, being in Indiana, she was up three hours before I was. By the time I got online, a lot of big stories were already out there; all I could do was comment on them. And because I was backing off drastically from writing (Remember, I was literally on outrage overload and had to cut back for health reasons), Paddy (and David when he could) held down the fort, as did Lucian behind the scenes.
Now, without a back east writing partner, all I can do is try to keep up. So, some kind of change is called for, and we're working on it as we speak. So I ask for your patience. My work ethic is giving me the guilts, but clearly my health must come first.
Finally, the political:
Chris Christie made a big show of how "heartbroken" he was. He needs to STFU. Gov. Christie, take a look at this blog post. This is what heartbroken looks like.
UPDATE: I've been told that Paddy did not collapse, but died in her sleep (probably due to her heart problems). I am very grateful and relieved that she did not suffer. Peace.