When I called my mother last night, shortly before Neil Gaiman re-Tweeted my Kickstarter link and my social media blew up, she said:
“I think you’ll get 17. Dad’s birthday is June 17th.”
I laughed at her. We were at $13K at the time, and that itself was astonishing to me. I never thought this many people would be interested in this project. When I talked about it with my father last spring, shortly after he’d been diagnosed with multiple myeloma and shortly before he got so sick that I didn’t pester him with my Kickstarter plans anymore, he also thought it’d be good to make the $3K goal just so I could publish the book and consider other projects. I’d intended to launch this campaign last September, but everything went on hold when my father started spending more time in hospitals than at home, and I was flying back and forth from California to try to be there as much as I could.
Dad departed for his next big adventure on September 23.
There was too much to do to even think about this project for a while, so I put it aside. Over the winter, I continued to watch other Kickstarter projects and gather data, and taught myself how to make videos. Last month, I was finally ready, and this campaign began. My only regret during this entire experience has been that my father isn’t here to see it.
I owe so much to my father, everything from the work ethic to the integrity, to the belief that you can do anything you set your mind to if you work for it and you do what you say you’ll do. No compromises, no excuses, just do the work. I owe him (and my mother) a sense of fairness and a respect for everyone. I owe him for caring for me as much as he did (like you can see in this very early picture of us together. Love the 1969 furniture!)
My father instilled in me my goofy sense of humor, too. But it wasn’t all silly. I shared his curiosity about technology and machines and science. He was fascinated by the Internet and its promise, and we talked about it and about my research fairly often.
I think Dad would have been as surprised as I am that this campaign was so successful. I also think it would’ve impressed him as much as it has me, that there are decent people out there, willing to support you, as musician Amanda Palmer recently put it in a TED talk that’s gone viral, if only you ask.
I’ll post more later. For right this moment, I just want to say thank you, again, to everyone who touched this project in some way. You really have done something incredible here.
And look, Dad. Seventeen. Mom’s texting me. “He always did make ya work for it. Love that man!” Yes, I do.