Rep. Julia Carson has announced that she is suffering from terminal lung cancer. Even though all the signs were there that she was seriously ill, the details hit like a gut punch.
Her announcement included that she will not run again for her House seat. Word has it that a grandson of hers will run instead.
The Indianapolis Star said in a front page article today, "Carson is known as an advocate for the poor and those who can't speak for themselves." As one of a people sorely in need of such dedicated advocates who can be depended on to "get it" before even being told because she's been there herself in her own way and has the good sense necessary to transfer that experience to the struggles of others, as an advocate for people even more beleaguered than LGBT people, injection drug users, it's been a deep comfort to know that I've had such a great champion in so many high places for so long -- and a friend to laugh and commiserate with to boot.
There've been none to compare -- and I owe Rep. Carson more than I can repay -- so whatever it is that she wants or needs, if I have it or can get it, it's hers. Right now, that's taking the form of a promise to keep on keepin' on in a manner in which she would take delight, to celebrate her life and my own, and to find a way to describe her smile.