where the writers are
Are You There Judy? We Want You to Get Well Soon


Six weeks ago I realized a dream: I got to see Judy Blume when the movie Tiger Eyes was screened as part of the Jewish Film Festival. It was wonderful seeing her. I mentioned in my blog I was bummed that she was whisked away after the Q&A ended, but it was so great seeing her it was so minor, a blip on the radar screen.


Last week I was doing some promotion stuff on twitter (for it is all about me, me, and oh yeah, me!) I saw Judy was tweeting. So I sent her the link to my blog, then I got this tweet back:







@jenniferkate: http://redroom.com/member/jennifer-kathleen-gibbons/blog/judy-judy-judy … #yalit”//Thanks for this. I'll have a blog post up for you in the next few days. It will explain SF.


My first thought was:
Oh.My.God. Judy Blume tweeted me!!!

The second thought was:
Wait, what does she have to explain? She doesn't have to explain anything to me. Just the fact that she graced us with her presence was enough. I remember looking around and I saw so many women my age clapping and clapping. She could've read us Fifty Shades of Gray and I would've been happy.


But I decided okay, more will be revealed. Today it was.


I came home after running errands; had to deal with Comcast. I rented a storage locker for Dad, so I brought some of his things to where it was located. After getting something to eat, my plans for the afternoon was work and library, plus clean out my closet. My phone died when I was on the road, so I was unplugged. I needed to check on some emails, so I clicked on my laptop to start skimming. And then I read a headline that said: Judy Blume Diagnosed With Breast Cancer. And I thought oh no. No no no. Damn damn damn damn.


The blog explained that she found out she had cancer earlier in the summer. The doctor gave her the go-ahead to go to Nantucket for a film festival and vacation, plus the SF trip. She knew she would be disappointing people by not signing the books, but the doctor told her not to be around crowds in case of viruses. Suddenly things made sense: why she was whisked away so quickly. Why she mentioned “I always get scared I'll die when I'm working on a new book; I want to make sure no one sees my early drafts!” How protective her son Larry looked. Oh Judy. You didn't have to apologize to us. You did the best thing possible: You took care of yourself. How could anyone fault you for that?

I cried a little bit in bed. It has been such an emotional summer for me with Dad and his surgery, now Judy Blume was sick. Everything felt out of whack. He must've known I was thinking of him because he called. “Dad, Judy Blume is sick,” I blurted out.

“How bad?”

“Breast cancer.”
“Did they catch it early?”

“She has good doctors, they'll take good care of her.”


Of course he's right. All I can say is this: Dear Judy, get well. We still need you here for a little while longer. Thank you for your books. Go in peace.


FYI: if anyone wants to write a get well blog for Judy Blume, tag it “Get Well Judy” I'll put it on twitter and will make sure she sees it.