Personal Goal Accomplished: Speaking at the PASS Summit

I mentioned on twitter that a family tragedy about a decade ago had resulted in a false start with respect to this goal:

Ten years ago, we were expecting a baby, our fourth. Then an ultrasound revealed that we were having twins. Because we had “MoMo” twins, we immediately moved into the high risk category and that meant an appointment with specialists. Sadly, at that appointment we received devastating news: our twins had passed. If you’ve lost a child to miscarriage, you understand how painful and shattering that is. As the father, it tore my heart in two. The reality, though, is that it’s always worse for the mother. As the father, it took a long time before it was something I could fully come to terms with. I stand by the statement that it’s always worse for the mother. Anything can spark a grief reaction again, even many years afterwards. I’ve seen it with my wife and others I’ve talked to have shared the same thing.

Needless to say, this has always been in the background with me attempting to get back to PASS. There have been other, more prominent reasons. But the loss of the twins so close to going to a PASS Summit always held me in its grasp. A decade is a long time. Though I had faced my grief, our loss still affected me. As a result, when I applied again to speak at PASS, my wife and I talked. It was important for me to try and move forward here. So with much trepidation I made the journey, spoke today, and am glad for it.

So why do I share this? Kevin Kline gave a talk about how much of a family the SQL Server community is. It truly is. Members of the community helped me face my grief. Folks who had been through it, too. And they’ve been supportive over the years. If you’re dealing with something non-technical, chances are someone else in the community has dealt with it or is dealing with it, too. And you might be surprised how quickly they are to walk alongside of you if they just knew. We aren’t just here to help each other technically. We’re here to help each other, no predicate applied.

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