Some stories are bigger than 140 characters. The story that Andrew sent me is one of them. I wanted to give it the merits it deserves and this is why I have decided to write an introductory paragraph in which I explain why I have finally decided to publish it.
When Andrew sent me his photo with Summer taken at MCM London Comic Con 2017 - with the promise of telling me a bit more about it later -, I thought it was just another lovely photo of Summer giving a fan a hug. I was wrong.
A few days later, Andrew send me another email in which he explains with great sincerity the illness affecting him, as well a long article about his experience meeting her at MCM London and photos taken from the book Summer is holding in the picture.
After reading his explanations, I was wondering whether I should publish his story or not. Andrews's touching testimony led me to ask myself some questions: why do I run a fan site and how do I want to do it? What started as a simple blog reporting the latest news about Summer's new gigs has since matured into a fan community where people can share their experiences, especially since Summer has decided to take a break from acting to have kids and spend some time with her family. In the past, I have shared stories from fans with severe disabilities or who questioned their gender that were very well received by the fans and I have the feeling it also helped those who trusted me enough to publish them.
After a number of discussions with Andrew, I finally decided to share his experience with you. Andrew gives us an admirable lesson of courage and dignity. People can do extraordinary things when they are dedicated and believe in their project, even when fate had other projects in mind for them.
Here’s the story of Andrews's battle against fate. It is the kind of story that moves people's hearts and their minds.
MEMORIES OF SUMMER IN LONDON
May 27th & 28th 2017 - LONDON Comic CON
By Andrew Westwood
In my picture with Summer, she is holding a book that I wrote about her, it is a in-depth look at her personal and working life, from her early days till 2014, before she gave birth to her little girl.
First of all, I should give you some background on how this all came about; I have been a fan, I don't like using that word, I would rather say admirer of her work.
In late 2014 I found out that I was suffering from cancer again, for the third time, this time it was more serious, it was clasping my left lung. After many tests it was found that the lung could not be saved and therefore had to be removed, this is only my second operation in my life time, anyway while I was in long term recovery. I spent a lot of time watching the television, “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” which was being broadcasted at the time, I lay there enjoying this wonderful series, it was then that I began to take more interest in Summer and finding out more about her, everything about summer, what other things she had appeared on or in the various television, films etc, like the “Big Bang Theory” I began to wonder when Summer made her appearance in the great show, how many years ago did she do that show etc... What a fuss, go get the computer out, boot it up, wait and get on the internet to search for the answer. What a palaver and I thought that there must be a quicker way to finding out the answer to questions and other like this... a reference book.
I began to look on Google to find if there was a book covering Summer life, there was nothing at all. That is when I decided to use my recovery time to put together a little home made book and then I wouldn't need to go through go messing about with computers, internet etc, as I compiled the information from all sources on the web that I thought was relevant, sorting out fiction from fact, reading interviews that Summer had given over the years, a load of information I found a lot of the stuff just repeated and repeated itself, over and over again. Finding all the relative information, after about six months it was finished. 120 pages all about Summer. I felt very pleased with the result, it was then that I looked at it and thought now what do I do with it, I will only be the one to see it.
After a lot of thinking about it, I decided to look into getting it published, one or two copies, I would then take it and give it to Summer in person the next time she visited England. Sadly there didn't seem to be any information that lead me to believe Summer would be making an appearance at any comic con in Great Britain and not knowing how much time I had left, I thought I would get her address LA and post it to her as a Christmas present.
So I found a company that would publish a couple of copies, but it was very expensive, I thought Summer was worth it and this would be a way of me of giving back to Summer to say good bye and thank Summer for all the pleasure she had brought to my life. I put my trust in the address I had for Summer and that Summer would receive the book. Hopefully she would write and say whether she like or disliked the book, as this would be the only way I would know that it arrived in her postal box.
So in December 2014 I posted the book and left it in fate's hands. Either way I would go to my grave content knowing that I had achieved this, as I am not a writer, or know anything about how to put a book together. This is my first and last attempt at doing this sort of thing, and all being well, Summer would get the book.
I sent a short letter along side the book, telling Summer about why I had put the book together and about my condition, also my regret that I wouldn't be able to see her and hand the book to her in person.
In 2015 Summer did send me a lovely card thanking me for the book, what a relief that little card brought to me, knowing that Summer had got the book and was delighted with it.
In 2016 two things happened to me, first, I found out that the cancer had come back and it was in the Liver, the remaining Lung, Pancreas and Brain, all the places in the human body that cannot be operated on, well very difficult. I knew that this time it was going to be terminal. The second thing to happen to me that year, was to find out Summer was coming to London in May 2017.
I decided to go even though the Doctors felt strongly I would not get there, that is how serious it was. I have never been one to give up, I was not going to sit there watching television, waiting to die. I was determined to go to London and Comic Con and see Summer in person, I was going to and nothing, not even Cancer would stop me getting there and to the surprise of all the Doctors, MacMillan Nurses etc that I would achieved it.
Here is what happened... I could not attend on Saturday due to not feeling well, but after a good rest and with the help of my sister, who happens to be my carer on that day and my brother-in-law was helping me out. I could not have done this by myself well I manage to go on Sunday, nothing would have stopped me,I would have crawled there, I had been made sad as I missed going to see Summer doing the panel Q&A. I thought fate could not be so cruel to let me get so near to Summer to stop me.
I arrived at the venue in London. And we went to find her, it was crowded and noisy, then through the people I spotted her, we lined up behind people waiting to see her, to get a picture, autograph etc. So there I was in my wheelchair waiting to see her. I was not nervous or star struck. I knew what I wanted to talk to her about, then it was my time to go up to her and meet her, I pulled a copy of the book from my bag asking if she remembers this, I have to say that Summer had the look of shock on her face and I mean genuine shock, she wasn't acting now, (Me), “Do you remember this, I told you that I wouldn't sell these” (Summer), “Oh my its you, do you know you captured my whole life in that book, it's all in there, let me give you a hug”. I was not going to turn that down, I stood up and leaned across the table and Summer did the same, she placed her arms around my neck and kissed me on the cheek and whispering in my ear, “thank you so much” we looked at each other and in a loud voice due to the noise, I told you should fate decide that our paths in life would cross, it would happen. Summer kissed me on the cheek again, she said let me come round to you and hug you properly.
It was then that Summer showed me her baby bump, she smiled and said the family is on the increase, as we held hands (like lovers do) (Me), “you must be, so delighted”. (Summer), “I am”. What are you expecting, a boy or girl? (Summer), I don't mind. (Me) well the baby will be born in a loving family. Just then Summers husband Val, came past behind Summer, holding Milena Jo. As it was very noisy I shouted Val.. Val... he stopped and turned towards the table, where Summer and I were sat. Summer looked up at him .
A quick question, have you got use to all this, meaning comic-con and the attention that Summer brings we with her, Val said no and then Summer jumped in and said he will never get use to it. Val moved away with their daughter, Summer looked at me and smiled as I said she is gorgeous like her mother.
(Me), – I can understand how Val feels, how he cannot except that the woman he loves and the mother of his child or should that be children, is loved and admired so much by so many and not just state side, but world wide, it must be hard for any one who isn't in the business to accept the attention their partner receives.
I understand why so many people admire and love her, how they find her so warm and charming, when they meet her, whether it is for the second, third or tenth time, I first meet her in Blackpool, England in 2004.
Well Summer got up from her seat and came round to the front of the table, she placed her arms around my neck and kissed me on the cheek, while giving me a hug. I said to Summer that I haven't seen her since she and the rest of the gang (Firefly actors and actresses) went to Blackpool. (Summer) , “Oh my, that was such along time ago now.” Again summer gave me a kiss on the cheek and hugged me some more. Summer then put her hands under her tummy ,showing her baby bump to me and the rest of the world, well the people in the area. (Summer), this is what I am looking forward to”. I placed my hand on her tummy (Me), the baby is coming into a very loving family, I better let you get back to work. Summer smiled at me (Me), “you are such a lovely lady, I wish we had more time together to talk”. Summer smiled and gave me a long goodbye hugged, kissing me on the cheek again. (Summer), “you stay well”. (Me), “I hope that everything goes well with the pregnancy and I will try to keep in touch for as long as I can”. Summer smiled and turned away, to go back behind her table.
As we walked away from each other, we waved and Summer blew me a kiss and mouthed the words “thank you”. Then she went back to work.
Well that is how my meeting Summer went, sorry there's no video Chris, but I am sure you will appreciate that meeting Summer goes very quickly and my carer could only get some pictures of the meeting. It may well be my last and final meeting Summer, but I only have to look at the photos and the memories of that time come flooding back to me.
Summer I doubt will be doing any television/film work in the coming future, as Summer said her baby is her number one priority as for me, I know what is install for me, I just don't know when, how long I have. But I will never forget meeting Summer and the kindness she showed and gave me in her hugs and kisses on the cheek.
If you have never meet her, but are a fan, please go and see her. She will make you feel welcome and at ease with yourself within a few seconds.
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