I met Arthur Cohen and his wife Janet at last year's Compassionate Care ALS gala in Boston. We sat next to each other and chatted throughout the night. I adored him immediately. He told me about being a photographer, seeing Hamilton, and his PickALS project to raise money for ALS--"From a cucumber to a cure." We kept in touch through FaceTime and email, Arthur typing with his eyeballs.
Here's an email from me to him after that gala:
I just said the same thing--how lucky I am to meet and know the most wonderful people through my writing journeys. Spending time with you was the highlight of the gala for me. You have such an enormous, joyful, loving spirit--You are love, and it bursts beyond the boundaries of your body. Loved every second that I got to hang with you! And watching you and Janet--makes me happy teary as I type. I've never had that kind of love, Arthur (I'm still hopeful!). You both are so beautiful to watch.
Ron Hoffman (from CCALS) is an angel and a hero--I'm so grateful that you found each other.
And I love the PickALS! I'll spread the word on social media about them. You do the pickles, I'll write the book, and together we'll make a difference, right? And get to know and love and help people along the way....
PS. If you get more tix to Hamilton, bring me! :)
Arthur died in August 2017. This weekend, while signing books at the Annapolis Book Festival, a reader gave me this jar of PickALS. The reader was Arthur's sister. It was such a beautiful moment and unexpected gift. Here is a link to my favorite video of Arthur and more about PickALS.