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Mills and Rich discuss the love built not hrough blood, but through an idea of family that lies deeper than a scientific idea of genetics. They discuss why it's so important for community to know how to support them as they care for their dying family member. We know how to be celebratory towards those welcoming something positive and wanted under the banner of assuming a child is a celebratory event but we don't know how to mourn with one another. We haven't learned how to support those that are untangling a process of sadness, memory, and releasing — while being in the day-to-day actions of caring for the woman they are processing this gamut of emotions for.

Law's and Trimbath's pieces stick with me for similar reasons, for they took a step further from recounting and tried to understand why we're in the situation that we are and how we can grow from this standing. Many of the other essays, while not all by any measure, fell a bit from this encompassing act of telling. In story after story it is obvious that there is a lot of pain coming from caregivers, and this pain should be told. There is a great deal of anger from being discluded and abandoned for making a choice to have a child.

However, I'm longing for the next step. I longed for the essays to plunge deeper into discussions of why it's imperative for us to be supportive of families and why it is vital for us to be supportive of families with varying privileges and points of access. I will take this opportunity to also state that I did truly respect and value Law's and Martens's obvious commitment to having a vast array of stories told. They definitely sought to have people from multiple different races, classes, abilities, sexualities, genders, etc. This beautifully illuminated some needs that we are unaware of and need to be met, such as in Jennifer Silverman's essay on caring for children with special needs or in the multiple different pieces from Indigenous writers.

However, and this may be controversial to state, it also equated to often having the same story told repeatedly.

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I think this largely pointed to a much stronger hand required in the editing process. I think we could have gleaned more from different people's experiences if an editor had worked with them to grapple further rather than just their initial recountings, which sound remarkably similar when there isn't further stress to go further. Going from this and back to my original point, I really wish that the book had gone into more analysis about why it's imperative to be supportive of families.


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I one-thousand percent believe in personal narrative. After all, the personal is political. However, naming the experience is the first step. Understanding the experience and working from that for something different are the next. I wish that some of the personal experience relations were married with a further critique on why this is really immensely important for our movement-building, why we've gotten to where are now, why the patriarchy is anti-caregiver, and how we reproduce those patterns in communities, and practical ways forward. I think they also did a wonderful job at laying out suggestions for people within communities to be helpful in childcare organizing and for friends who are encountering a plethora of caregiving circumstances — primarily relating to parenting.

I think many of the stories sounded remarkably repetitive and that they didn't have to if the editors worked with the contributors a bit more to squeeze further thoughts from them rather than initial ones.

Don’t Leave Your Friends Behind - Bad Advice #11

Perhaps this is what happened, and I apologize if it did. But it doesn't strike the reader as so. Likewise, if it did happen, Martens and Law should have taken editorial authority to not include some statements that had already been repeated twice-over, in the hopes of including some thoughts that hadn't yet been vocalized.

Each section of the book needed a clearer idea anchoring it. The book felt overarchingly like a compilation of numerous folks who assumedly had different perspectives and were organized into sections with that mindset. I understand the basic feeling behind the different sections but it felt rather random.

I think it would have been beneficial if Law and Martens had further analyzed the idea of exactly what they were trying to say under each heading and how each particular essay was helping that thesis be said. Then, while all of the lists they included were very helpful — they were also undeniably massively repetitive.

It was interesting and helpful to see how different organizations approached different constructs of care but the lists desperately needed to be edited into a more concise document referencing its list of contributors. I think an appendix would have been the ideal solution.

As I previously stated, I'm incredibly glad that this book exists. Again, they must learn for themselves. We gain a wider perspective. We have to experience the bad to cherish and appreciate the wonderful later on. This would be a tragic ending to a friendship over something meaningless. There are always exceptions.

Friends don't leave their friends for other friends. | PureLoveQuotes

That says something on your significant other's character. We can all be blinded by love, lust or maybe just a fabulous sexual relationship. But you can only close your eyes to the reality of things for so long. The best thing that a friend can do is be supportive. Listen, be attentive and offer advice when it is asked of you. If you were a so-called best friend, you would never make your friend choose.

Those friends will show you the same decency. True friends aren't the ones who make your problems disappear. They are the ones who won't disappear when your facing problems. A true friend accepts who you are but also helps you become who you should be.

Don't Leave Your Friends Behind

True friends are never apart, maybe in distance but never in heart. A friend will joyfully sing with you when you are on the mountain top, and silently walk beside you through the valley. Truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget. Real friends have a great time doing absolutely nothing together. True friendship is seen through the heart, not through the eyes. A real friend is someone who tries to pick you up when you've fallen and if they can't pick you up they lay down right beside you.