Amy Brenneman
Amy Brenneman

June 24, 2015

Hey sweet friends...

Sitting in my steamy patio here in Austin. Wanting to write something (remember when I used to write? Back in the winter? Before my NBC pilot?) but my thoughts are all squiggly and unformed. Unruly kindergarten thoughts.


But my heart is filled with gratitude for you, my cyber friends and supporters. For your sweet birthday thoughts, your wild creativity (the videos! the photo collages! the vines!) Please know that I see these things, that they touch my heart over the time differences and the miles and the countries. For all that is written about the overwhelm of social media, this is one of the true benefits.


I will take love in any form these days, in the wake of yet another display of blistering hatred in South Carolina. I will take love in the form of your birthday wishes, in the care of the camera operator who moves gently with his equipment when its close to my face. I will take it in the form of my 10 year old son, shirtless and sleepy, waking at 6 am to wish me Happy Birthday before I left for work on Monday (is there anything more delicious than a 10 year old son’s bare chest?) And I will take it in the form of the families of the South Carolina shooting, forgiving Dylan Roof for all the world to see.


Astounding. That is the way the world is changed. We won’t defeat violent rage with retaliation; an eye for an eye surely does blind the world. And yet to see it in action? This is the real deal. The world trembles before that kind of love.


I will take love in the form of my husband, of course. That is my steady diet of love, making my bones sturdy and strong, my heart pumping with juicy healthy blood. You all have been commenting on us the last few days, and it makes me want to write about THAT. Which I will. In September we will have been married 20 years, together 22. Which, for anyone that knew me back in 1993, a ridiculous proposition. Without going into the nitty-gritty of my pre-Brad life, suffice to say: you would never have bet on me for having a long-term marriage. In Vegas, the odd would have been looooooooong.


And here’s the kicker: it’s gotten better and better, radically better in the last two years. We have begun burying our parents (his beloved father Bob died two years ago of ALS in September.) We welcomed my frail folks for five months into our home this spring. We have a rowdy 10 year old son and a 14 year old special needs daughter who just entered PUBERTY. And against all odds, we produced a pilot for NBC that got picked up for series.


These are stressors indeed.


Yet, weirdly, we are more deeply in love than ever. It’s like the world gave us all these things that could divide us with squabbles and fear, and we said, “You know what, world? We are on the same side. Yes, these are challenges, and they are only going to get more so. But for today’s kickball team? I pick HIM.”


I got asked recently about my marriage, and I realized I have no pat advice, no concept for a book, have no desire to publicize this most private piece of my heart. What can I say? I got lucky. I chose well, of that I am proud. and here’s what I do know ; it takes a while for things to settle. And when it does, things get really, really good.


I’ll take love in any form today, and I send my love to you. As Ed Bacon says, it’s “strength for you journey.” May love make your bones strong today, and your heart beat healthy and true. The world needs us all today. There is much work to do.