This exchange — about his having the same kind of brain cancer a dear friend of mind is currently battling — will not be leaving me any time soon:
Lesley Stahl: Do you think that this diagnosis has changed you?
John McCain: No.
Lesley Stahl: Not at all. Same person?
John McCain: No, I think you gotta– you know, you just have to understand that it’s not that you’re leaving. It’s that you– that you stayed.
Yesterday, I was talking to another dear friend, Megan, who works with me and will be leaving the job soon because of a long commute and family obligations. Megan and I have been focusing on her leaving with tears and sadness. When I said to her, yesterday, “It’s not that you’re leaving. It’s that you stayed,” we both felt better.
It’s not that you’re leaving this post at the end, it’s that you stayed to read my words and look at my photographs.
That’s Megan’s office door, and I’m already imagining what it’s going to be like when she closes that door for the last time, in three weeks, when she leaves. It helps me to remember that it’s not that she’s leaving; it’s that she stayed.
Thanks to you all, for staying.