You crazy awesome people headed out onto the Internet with your adorable, feisty little voting fingers and clicked to keep me in a comfortable first-day lead.
People I’ve never heard from before sent me incredibly kind and supportive comments.
People I hear from all the time sent me incredibly kind and supportive comments.
People who never comment sent me comments.
It was like one big keg party, with ice cold Blabbermouse on tap. (Delicious, if not a little hoppy.)
But then, there was this:
Penelope Dullaghan is a gifted artist and all-around creative force in the world; I became a regular reader of her blog about a year ago. And through her blog, I discovered her brother Tom’s blog, which chronicles his wife Alison’s battle with cancer in a way that's honest, direct, and very touching.
If you know me well, you know how I feel about death and dying.
Not a fan.
I am one of those people (maybe the only one over the age of eight) who’s still holding out hope that my family and I will be the kind of people who live forever.
You know those people who live forever, right?
Well, that’s just because no one’s ever met one.
(To give you some perspective: before I had kids, I was having dinner with Larry and his parents, and Larry started talking about “When Sean [our dog] dies.” And I was all, “Stop talking about when Sean dies. He’s not dying.” And my mother-in-law looked at me and said “Sean is going to die someday, Amanda.” And I was all “BITE YOUR TONGUE, WOMAN! BITE YOUR BITTER, NAYSAYING TONGUE!”)
She will be relieved to know that when Sean got run over by a car last year (and lived! See?) I came to terms with the fact that yes, eventually, he is going to die (of old age, in his sleep, while dreaming about a Philly cheese steak).
I just want the best for everyone.
Anyway, I got to work early this morning. And when I logged on to my blog reader, I hit Penelope’s site first.
Her sister in law, Alison, died last night. Surrounded by family and people who loved her.
And reading it, I started crying. And wiping my eyes with post-it notes (not recommended) and hoping that none of my coworkers would walk up and say, “Hi there. What the hell?”
Because how do I answer that?
“My blogger’s brother’s wife died last night?”
“Did you know the girl who died?”
“Did you know her husband?”
“Not technically, no.”
“So you knew the husband's sister, the blogger?”
The thing that was so moving and inspiring to me about Penelope’s brother and his wife, Alison, is that they were so young and so faithful. I don’t mean they were faithful to each other (though clearly they were that too), but that they seemed to me to be filled with an unwavering faith. A faith that included hope for a happy ending. Fighting for a happy ending. Acceptance that there might not be a happy ending. Gratitude for the time they had together. Love, devotion, the list goes on, AGHHH, I can’t even write about it. (SOMEONE GET ME A BOX OF POST-IT NOTES!!!!)
They were great people. I’m certain of it.
And now Alison’s “not in this world” (as my 4-year-old Gus would say). And I know her husband is going to be okay.
Because of what he wrote.
That’s how I know him. Or whatever piece of himself he chose to share; I don’t actually presume to really know the bloggers whose blogs I read. But I know them a little.
And that is what is so totally, incredibly awesome about the Internet.
All at once, it’s a big canvas, playground, battleground, party, photo album, and conversation. It’s an encyclopedia, and a documentary. In one day, you can come here to learn, or teach, to inspire, or to provide heartwarming stories about cheerleaders stuck in elevators.
I love it here.
And I’m so glad you decided to join me.