Chaz Ebert Restores Our Faith In Humanity

These are not words I have ever uttered before, but... ready to be inspired? Then read this interview with Chaz Ebert, wife of Roger.

In it, she discusses how they navigate their increasingly public life amid her husband's battle with cancer — and how she convinced Roger to join Twitter. And then there's the outpouring of support that's followed:

People have been overwhelmingly on Roger's side. Do you think that's because he's built such a relationship and rapport with his fans?

Roger and I have been thrilled at how welcoming and accepting people have been. It really reinforces my faith in humankind. I think you hit the nail on the head. Over all these years that Roger has been a film critic, he's built up credibility with the public, who expect him to be open and honest. Credibility is a currency that he was able to use in this situation and that people were rooting for him — as he's so often rooted for the underdog over the years — that's one of the ways I can best explain it. I also think Roger has very good karma, and I think I do too.

We would agree with that. But there's plenty about Chaz herself to reinforce your faith in humankind. Somehow, platitudes about learning from tragedy and overcoming with home seem so sincere when coming from her.

If it's at all possible to think in this sense, what's the biggest positive to have come out of Roger's illness?

Yes, there is a positive. The positive is we learned that we are much stronger than we thought we were. We learned that our relationship is so beautiful and so strong. We learned that people come through with support and encouragement when you need it. We learned that you can't hide. You have to live your life in a joyful manner, no matter your health or your circumstances.

Previous indications that the partnership between Chaz and Roger is extraordinary are borne out by Chaz's own words.

Having followed Roger's columns and shows for years, he always seems to strike me as the smartest guy in the room. Is it ever intimidating knowing you have to hold your own with a presence like him?

It's actually fun. We really love that about each other. He loves the way I think, and I love the way he thinks. His friends say we were a perfect match — that none of his girlfriends challenged him intellectually. We love that about each other.... Because Roger is so knowledgeable about so many things, he's used to people conceding. And because my background is law and because I was also the top of my class going through school, I don't always back down. He'll laugh and say, "That's what you get for marrying the smartest girl in the class."

What you also get: A woman whose determination is credited with saving her husband's life. And we're all the richer for it.

Chaz Ebert On Roger Ebert's Health: Hope Is A Strategy [PopEater]

Earlier: Roger Ebert Doesn't Give A Shit, And I Love Him For It
Gaining A New Voice: Roger Ebert On Oprah