During the holiday season, Fort Worth Report journalists are remembering their favorite stories of 2022. Click here to read more essays.
I was in the liminal space between sickness and health when I met the Blys. Cody and Abby, a newlywed couple in Fort Worth, were recovering from an unexpected cancer diagnosis. I was recovering from COVID-19.
The remaining dregs of my illness — brain fog, sore throat — were beginning to fade, but the cell-deep exhaustion had set in. Reporting was hard that month, and it would get harder still. I would go on to write about suicide, mass shootings, overdoses and formula shortages; first responders coping and ERs overflowing. Health news in Texas is heavy, regardless of where you stand on a given issue.
But the Blys offered a story of wonder: Through a series of accidents, Cody had discovered something strange in Abby’s neck and— well, I invite you to read the rest:
The promise in the headline came from experience. The Bly’s story held good news, and good news is a balm. When my own reporting grew tough in the succeeding months, I returned to their story — delighted it exists, and that it is true. (Also, I checked in with Cody just before Christmas: He says Abby is healthy and well, he’s wrapping up his fourth year of medical school with an upcoming rotation in Thailand.)
As we enter our final days of 2022, in some ways, we, too, are in a liminal space of the pandemic. The monotonous shock of March 2020 has mostly faded, and yet the consequences of those early years remain. My hope for each of us is that we seek the stories that are good and true, however small.
For me, doing so is a discipline — a form of self-care. What’s yours?
I know 2023 will bring its share of hard stories, and I’ll be here to report them. But I’ll also look for good news, tales like Abby’s and Cody’s that bring joy and a reminder:
Sometimes, things do get better. Sometimes, they do work out in the end.
Alexis Allison is the health reporter at the Fort Worth Report. Her position is supported by a grant from Texas Health Resources. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.