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Monday, February 11, 2013

An Illustrated Record Of Love And Loss

When author and artist Danny Gregory was seven years old, he thought there was only one girl in the world for him, and that he would probably never meet her.

When he met Patti in a bar in his mid-twenties, she didn’t even seem like his type. But five years to the day after they met, they married.

They built a life together, but it was not free from difficulty.

When their son was 10 months old, Patti had a life-changing accident. She fell onto the subway tracks and broke her back when she was hit by a train.

She was confined to a wheelchair, but this didn’t slow her down.

“At one point, she was mentoring a girl in the Bronx, about five miles from our house, and she would get down there all on her own to meet with her,” Gregory told Here & Now’s Robin Young.

Their life had changed irrevocably and Gregory felt compelled to record his daily experience in drawing.

Eventually, his journals turned into the book, “Everyday Matters,” a collection of his drawings and writings about Patti’s accident and the life that followed.

Soon an online community of people who recorded their lives though drawing sprang up around Gregory’s idea.

Then a second tragedy rocked Gregory’s family. Patti was leaning out of a window to water plants on the sill when she slipped and fell. The Gregorys lived on the eighth floor and she was killed instantly.

Gregory’s response again was to record his daily life in drawing. These drawings are featured in a new book, “A Kiss Before You Go: An Illustrated Memoir of Love and Loss.”

To see pages from Gregory’s book, please see the slideshow above.

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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