Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Accidental Activists- Part 2

On Tuesday, I posted Accidental Activists- Part 1. Thank you, dear Readers, for your blog comments, Facebook comments and shares, and private messages. Most of all, thank you for your support for Brian and me on this roller coaster journey. 

Before I get to part 2, I want you all to know that I have B's permission to share all of this. In fact, he is one of my proofreaders. We both believe God has a hand in all of this and we (B and I) are just the instruments. (To show you how much all this affected him, I'll tell you a secret. He could not verbally articulate a belief in God or a greater power prior to all of this happening.) We feel B's role in these events is bigger than us and our "small" problems. Without seeking it, he was given an incredible platform and a chance to give a voice to the voiceless. 

Now, here we go with part 2: 

Monday, July 11th, 2016
9:47 am- I received two texts from Brian (he was at work): 
Can you please call me? And then a minute or so later,
I am reaching out. I need help.

I was just leaving the grocery store but called him back immediately. We talked about how he was feeling and what he was thinking. He mentioned a press conference was scheduled for that afternoon at 1:00pm CST. He was asked to attend. We discussed the possibility of him not doing it because he was feeling very emotional. I told him I thought he had a unique perspective on the Dallas police ambush that no one else in the world had, but that I was also afraid he might "lose it." I wasn't used to him being emotional or him asking me for help. This was all new territory for us. At the end of our call, I encouraged him to try to rest at work, if possible, and to meditate and focus on his breaths.

Here is an abbreviated exchange of the texts we sent to each other after our phone conversation.

B: I will speak from the heart. I will not lose it.
Me: Even if you do lose it and the world comes crumbling down, I will stand by you.
B: Thank you. I'm heading over now. [to the press conference]
Me: Let me know how it goes. Remember, God put you there [at the hospital on the night of the shooting] for a reason. 
B: [Walking into the press conference.] CNN is here.

Neither of us had ANY clue that the press conference was going to be televised live nationally on CNN, MSNBC, or FOX News. And by the time he sent that last text, I was on my way to the gym (and had not set the DVR.) I was on the elliptical machine but hopped off when I saw him on the TV. I held up my phone Say Anything-style, and recorded his close captioned statements. I tapped the guy next to me who was working out on another elliptical machine. He had to pull out an earphone to hear me. "Hey! That's my husband!" Then I proceeded to wave to all the other people in the cardio room and point at the TV screens with one hand (while still holding up my phone and recording with the other hand). "That's my husband!" I'll bet no one heard my excited yell given they all were wearing earphones, so I'm sure that made me appear somewhat unstable. But I was (and still am) such a proud wife. I'm proud that he courageously spoke his truth and expressed his complex feelings regarding this tragic situation. I know him better than anyone else on this earth, so I know just how difficult it was for him to speak out. I can count on one hand the number of times I have seen him get choked up. B very rarely talks about racial issues with others, he is private (people have said he's an enigma) and he does NOT desire to be in the limelight. He didn't know what he was going to say that day, but he told me he felt his mouth open and the words just came spilling out. This was so out of his comfort zone, I'm telling you all now- this was nothing short of a miracle that we all witnessed televised live on national TV.

My sister texted me that she was watching with her kids and they were "glued to the TV." Apparently, they were as excited to see Uncle Brian on TV as I was. My sister's 6-year-old said it was cool that Uncle Brian was now famous but that it was still very sad. Meanwhile, I was trying to read the closed captioning from two different stations- FOX news was playing on a wall-mounted TV and MSNBC was playing on the elliptical machine I was now only standing on. Sadly, I missed the shout out when he said I was helping him get through this tragedy. But, I'm still grateful he said it!  

Brian's text to me after the press conference said it all:
Made my decision out of love, not fear.

After that press conference, he received numerous print, radio, and TV interview requests. Everyone wanted to talk to him. People came out of the woodwork (in a good way!) and were texting and calling and emailing and Facebook posting that they saw B on TV. I continued with normalcy- picking up our daughter from summer camp and taking her to gymnastics class- but things started to feel surreal. While still at gymnastics, Brian texted that Don Lemon wanted B on his CNN show that night. I got a last minute babysitter (thanks Jennifer!) so I could be there to support him, and we headed to a studio downtown.  

Getting ready for the live interview via satellite
Brian got emotional for the second time (in one day!) on national television.

Click below to see segments of the CNN Don Lemon interview.
Dallas Trauma Surgeon: This has to stop 
Surgeon describes treating Dallas officer Part 1
Surgeon describes treating Dallas officer Part 2

When we got home Brian casually mentioned he had more media interviews scheduled early the next morning and one was with Gayle King from CBS. Gayle King, Oprah's BFF! As you all know, to say I am a fan of Oprah is a ginormous understatement. I (not so casually) asked him to please tell Gayle that I am Oprah's biggest supporter. Then we collapsed into bed, wondering just where this roller coaster was headed. 


Stay posted for more of our extraordinary journey including: NYC and the CNN Town Hall, DC and my conversation with the POTUS, and also- are Gayle and Oprah coming for dinner?  

Did Brian's emotional statements impact you in a positive way? Do you feel "the miracle" involved in all of this now that you have some insight from "behind the scenes?" Please let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.   


  1. Anonymous1:00 PM CDT

    Kathianne, you are a wonder at attention is fully engaged and I am eagerly reading and going wow. You are really letting me see an inside part of my nephew that I have never seen. Brian is truly such an admirable man, and his Aunt Minnie is so thankful of being a part of his very young growing up life. I am also thankful he has such a beautiful wife who is his partner and shares the wonders and purposes of his life...joys and sorrows...and Abeni! And I await part 3, you rock as a story teller!

  2. That was incredible and beautiful! Thank u for sharing! And a big YES, his words touched our hearts and lifes and I am sure millions more. We r blessed to be a tiny part of your journey. Pilar.