One year ago today, something horrible happened in Boston.
I "found" Sydney Corcoran a couple of days later, and as she lay in a hospital bed, we began a communication that evolved into a friendship. She has fought through a lot of physical and emotional pain these last 12 months, and if it seems easy from the outside, well...it's not.
Sydney's fight is far from finished on this one year anniversary. But her message to you is the one scrawled on her body: "You can scar me, but you can't stop me." She is a survivor in every meaningful sense, and a beautiful woman inside and out. She has embraced the scars that mark her just like the tattoo she was finally able to get in December. And in truth, they have a sublime beauty all their own - especially when you recognize that she earned them by living.
Sydney, you have come so far, and I want everyone to know how fuckin' proud I am of you. You are a gorgeous woman and a gorgeous soul, and if anyone says differently, they're wrong. That includes you when those moments of self-doubt haunt you.
I love you like you were my own sister.
Sydney's picture is part of a larger series called DEAR WORLD: Boston Marathon. It's one of many projects created by Dear World, an effort that is eminently worthwhile. The Boston Marathon project is incredibly moving and brought me to tears. It includes not only Sydney, but also her mother Celeste and her brother Tyler.
My words are failing me as it comes time to finish this entry. In the end, I guess Sydney has finally left me speechless. Maybe that's the best last word of all.