I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas and to say, even though I’ve said it before, that I very much value all of you here on WordPress.
This year has been up and down for me and there has been occasions when I couldn’t find the time or strength to even log in, let alone interact with any of you.
Every time I’d been absent and I came back, it would hit me that I’d missed this place and that it has become a significant part of my life.
This fact was brought home forcibly when I found out a little while ago that I was about to lose someone in our community. This is new territory for me, I’ve never had to deal with such a situation-online-before.
The depth of my upset would be incomprehensible to most people: people who are not part of any online communities and people without imagination.
Fortunately, I have wonderful friends in my “real life” who understand my mind and heart and they have been very supportive. They haven’t been told any details because there is such a thing as privacy, but they got the gist of it and understand why it has affected me so.
When you regularly read someone for a long time, and their words touch you, move you, you develop a connection and an understanding…and never mind the fact you’ve never met them.
I remember telling someone in a coffee shop a year and a half ago about this blogger who wrote with an incredible depth of feeling that usually came from a great deal of suffering. The person I was talking to rolled their eyes. Whatever. There was no point pursuing the conversation since they obviously didn’t/wouldn’t understand.
One of us is now fighting very bravely and with immense dignity and it breaks my heart to know this is happening…and yet, I am also incredibly grateful that I got the chance to known him, I’m thankful that I can bring him a little light now when he has given me so much himself in the past.
When two hearts connect, it is the most special thing and it is rare enough whether online or in “real life” that it should be treasured.
I have been given a lesson in humility: I have witnessed bravery and dignity that I know I could never be capable of. Although I shall now try harder than ever to face whatever life throws at me with grace and kindness—I shall be spurred on by his example.
I am talking about someone who is struggling for breath and yet worrying about me, worrying that he’s putting too much of a burden on me. I don’t even have the words to describe the generosity of his heart.
Whatever I have been through in my life—and regular readers will have a general idea because I’ve written about some of it—well, I’ve always been aware that other people have had it worse, far worse than me. Sure, I write about my tribulations because it helps, because it’s about exorcising the demons, but I’ve never walked around thinking I’d been particularly hard done by and that I was a unique case.
I don’t believe anybody has a monopoly on pain, and I have always refused to see myself as a victim—because that is no way to live your life—and, because I’ve also had an extraordinary amount of luck in my life as well. Black, white and many shades of grey, most of us wade through all of those at one point or another.
All that said, it is a fact that sometimes bad things happen to good people, and keep happening to them…but to find someone who’s been repeatedly hit by the storms and yet has managed to find a path unencumbered by bitterness and hate…someone who’s managed to find joy still wherever he could…someone who behaves to the end with grace, generosity and dignity…well, it is the most humbling experience. I am tearing up as I type because I am filled with a mixture of deep sadness but also such gratitude…
He is a gift.
To have known him is a gift.
He is a quiet hero.
He is my quiet hero.
To be able to hold his hand now across the ocean is an honour.
I shall miss him terribly, but he will always, always be in my heart.
Thanks to him, I have also had the chance to get to know another lovely soul who is there for him now by his side, in a way I cannot be myself. She may have entered my life in unusual and sad circumstances, but I know my connection with her is one which is going to stand the test of time.
So, this post is for him and everyone else on here. I want to say thank you to all of you. There are obviously some people I have connected with more than others (you know who you are) but even the bloggers I don’t really interact with…they’ve still made me smile, made me think, or laugh—you’ve all brought me something at one point or another, and that means a lot to me.
I wish you all a merry Christmas and hope you celebrate the end of the year with your loved ones. Cherish and treasure them because that’s what it is all about.
Ps: forgive the disjointed write-up but it was put together quickly and on very little sleep.
Image credit: christmas_by_soulkissfaerie @deviantart.com