Over years of texting and communicating through IM, you develop linguistic conventions that communicate emotion even through the impersonal medium of text. For me, an ever-present one has been the ellipsis; it denotes a moment without words. Often it's slackjawed astonishment. Sometimes it's laughter.
Yesterday it was tears.
I missed Drupalcon Chicago because of Jeff's accident. I'd been looking forward to it for months; I'd saved up vacation days, planned to crash at Byron's apartment, and to take extra time before and after the conference so I could go back to the museums and get to know the city better.
The best-laid plans...
(It is worth knowing that Jeff and I had a very ... shall we say ... animated discussion on Thanksgiving, when he asked to purchase the bike he later had the accident on. He wanted to know what he needed to do in order to make me happy enough for him to have the bike. I laid out a lot of safety rules, but I was still angry and frustrated, and my final statement was "--and I'm GOING to DrupalCon London, and I don't want to hear one damn word from you about how much it costs.")
Yesterday, a friend of mine took the stage at the closing ceremony of DrupalCon Chicago:
and talked about something we know well:
Afterward, there were photos:
If you think I didn't cry, you're wrong. I sobbed. These are friends. One of them (Jeff) has a quilt of mine [Primrose], I'm working on a quilt for another of them (Amye) right now [Oregon Trail], and another (Pat, aka Crash_Test) is due for a baby quilt in the next few months.
These are the people I seek out first at Drupalcon. We've eaten takeout in hotel rooms together, gotten lost in strange cities together, ranted about code and documentation and families and airports and life over meals and wine. We pester each other on Twitter and IRC.
Every time I popped open my laptop in the ICU waiting room and signed into IRC, these were some of the people I talked to. They were some of the first people to know that Jeff was missing, and held my hand (metaphorically) and gave me strength during crisis.
I haven't seen the video yet. When I have it, I will share it.