2008-10-10

For Colleen...

Many years ago, I discovered a wonderful online community that would go on to become a huge part of my life in ways I couldn't have fathomed at the time.

I was no newbie to forums. I became an addict to online communities way back when in 1997 when I was on bed rest while pregnant with my son...but in this one, for whatever reason, I became part of a group of women who clicked in a special way, we resonated. Eventually we splintered from that open community and started a private forum, because we realized that we wanted to share private information with each other in a safe place. And we've become friends.

Lifelong friends.

Literally.

We've been with each other as babies were born, as families moved across countries, and between countries. We've laughed together, cried together, bitched together, commiserated together, celebrated together.

To be sure, our road hasn't always been smooth. We've had passionate arguments, virtual doors slammed, hurt feelings...just like any other friendship.

But ultimately, this is an incredibly unique group of women, and we love each other.

Now, one of us is dying.

Colleen is dying.

I type that, but I don't believe it. Not in my heart.

I still somehow believe I will get around to tracing my daughter's hands on a piece of paper, like Colleen asked me to, and she will knit my daughter a pair of fingerless gloves to match the pair she sent me two Christmases ago. I had all the time in the world to get to that, or so I thought.

It's been very sudden, rather unexpected. She has two very young children.

She also has a lot of people out there who love her. Our group isn't her only online community...and there has been a convergence of her online contacts. We are powerless to save our friend, but we can help her children.

To that end, there is a fundraiser being planned that will contribute to a college fund for her son and daughter; a wonderful variety of handmade items will be auctioned off from October 28-November 4.



From the website of those organizing:

Colleen has touched many of our lives with her intelligence, wit, humor,
generosity, talent, and amazing outlook on life. The ladies here at Tiny Lady
Cooperative have had the fortune of being business partners with her, and many
others have enjoyed her fibers and yarns. Friends from real life, as well as
online, have rallied together to show Colleen how much we love, support and
admire her.Please join us October 28th-November 4th as we host an event to raise
funds for Colleen and her family. All funds raised will be placed into a college
fund for her children.Thank you in advance for your generosity in supporting
this event.
One last thing...if you have children, hug them extra hard right now. Hug anyone you love extra hard the next time you have a chance.

Hell, hug anyone the next time you have a chance.

15 comments:

  1. Anonymous4:56 PM

    Chrissie - there aren't words. I'm so blessed to have you, and to have had Colleen.
    Love, k.

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  2. That is so very sad. I am so sorry, sweetie. Big fat massive HUGS.

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  3. I knit, I can submit something....

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  4. Oh, no. Nonononono. I am heartbroken for you.

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  5. Oh Chris. This is just so dang hard. Thank you for this. I just can't believe we are losing her.

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  6. Thank you, my friend. I've been weepy all day. I just can't believe it. How can this be happening?

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  7. Losing friends sucks, absolutely sucks. I lost a friend from my online group that I joined in 1996 (we were all due w/our babies in Dec. of 1996). She was an amazing woman, and mother, and friend. She's the reason I started blogging.

    My heart aches for you, your friend, and her family.

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  8. Very beautifully written! I will miss her voice terribly. I hope that we can at least help the kids in some small way with the fundraiser. :(

    Big hugs to *you*!

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  9. What a great friend you are. (hugs)

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  10. This is very hard for me to read... Just last month I spent a long two weeks watching my best friend's mom (my second mom) dying. While it was VERY hard having time to say goodbye is very special. Not sure if she is in the hospital or not but what we did was buy a nice journal to have visitors write notes to her, that way when she wasn't up to seeing people, they could still say something and she could read it later.

    You are in my thoughts and prayers.

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  11. I am so moved. I don't know you or your friend, but my heart aches for you and every life Colleen has touched. And this just sucks. It sucks big time. Thank you for sharing her and what she means to you to those of us who would never have known her otherwise.

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  12. What a beautiful and heartfelt post. It is one that pulls at the heart strings. My thoughts go out to Colleen, her family, and her friends.

    Is there a place that we can donate $ for the cause without buying anything?

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  13. I am so very sorry. You write about her beautifully. It's astonishing to me how rich on line friendships can become. Hugs. You're in my thoughts and so is she.

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  14. This was a good reminder on a day when I'm feeling totally overwhelmed by my life. When I get home, I'm going to hug my kids extra hard. Thanks for the reality check.

    Can people donate handmade items to the auction? I'd like to if possible.

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  15. Oh, no. This is devastating.

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Brilliant observations: