OT: [still speechless.] [thank you.]

For two hours I’ve been sitting here, thinking about what to write about everyone’s kind donations on behalf of Mom. I’ve started three posts and discarded them all as beside the point. I’ve taken a few breaks to cry. In fact, last night when I got the news, I started sobbing, and one of the baristas in my café noticed came over with a glass of hot tea and some napkins.

It’s not the amount, although I was flabbergasted by that sum last night and am still shaking my head.

It’s something like solidarity that makes me weep. Because I know that behind that number lie as well the thoughts and prayers of scores of people who went along on this path as readers and supporters.

This blog has always been about moments of desperation — even on the occasions in the last three-plus years that I’ve been desperately happy. It started off as a place where I wrote because I couldn’t keep silent — about my sudden infatuation with Richard Armitage, in the first place — and it always continued to play that role as the topics expanded.

Mom’s story with kidney cancer started that spring, in fact. Although I didn’t post here about that moment for the first time until the anniversary, once I did start writing frequently about her journey in the summer of 2012, I was writing to let go of things that threatened to overwhelm me, and from time to time, in order not to self-destruct.

Those posts always seemed to catalog various kinds of failures — failures of the world to be what I needed it to be; failures of medicine, or luck; failures of prayer, or of hope — or simply about my own failures to solve the problems, to fix things, or even to cope with the most basic of things. Failures of resolution, failures of body. Things I couldn’t lift on my own — cancer, or even mom’s body, at times — and so had to let fall. So many failures. And then, at times when I couldn’t write because everything just hurt so much that it silenced me, even failures to speak.

I was so busy failing, so desperate and at times so angry, that I often did not think of the other effects of that writing. Judging by how I feel today, writing this, I think a long time will need to pass before I can go back and read much of it, let alone assess the experience. I knew that readers cared; I took comfort in the things that you said both on the blog, and in private, and some of them hit me so deeply that I still turn them over and over in my mind (this is one). I learned that people were truly interested and didn’t see the mom-blogging as separate from the Armitage blogging. I became more open.

But I didn’t realize until someone sent me a private message at the beginning of July that I was having other effects on people, far beyond the failures I could see in front of me daily. What that person said about how my writing had affected her put down the first piece of a message about the world that I was able to see much more clearly in the last three months than I ever had before, and it’s something that I see reflected so clearly in the participation in the “Memoriam for a Mother” effort:

Even as everything else was going wrong, even as we humans finally stood silent in the face of all of our failures —

Love itself did not fail.

That statement deserves elaboration, but I’m sobbing again.

All I can say now is — thank you for showing again and again through your comments and messages, through your thoughts and prayers, and again, yesterday with your donations — that love itself did not fail.

Thank you for giving me — maybe not just me, but particularly me — that knowledge to hang on to.

It’s the biggest comfort you could have sent — throughout everything:

Love did not fail.

[Thanks to all the people who organized and participated in this effort. Comments are closed here, but please leave a comment at the tally page.]

~ by Servetus on September 19, 2013.

5 Responses to “OT: [still speechless.] [thank you.]”

  1. […] Because of Armitagemania, when I left that job, I replaced it with one with lower pay and less obligation; I started working fifty hours a week instead of seventy; I learned what it was like to get a full night’s sleep again and not to cringe in the hallways. Because of Armitagemania, I started writing again every day, here, on my academic articles, and on other topics. Because of Armitagemania, I started recognizing myself again. And finally, because I was able to write and communicate with others again, when my mother took ill, I’d found friends to hold me up with their thoughts, prayers and comments. My “scare quotes” friends turned out to be real, too and they proved it over and over again. […]


  2. […] all the support I received from everyone in my real and virtual lives this year. I am thankful that love did not fail even if my feelings of grief are nowhere near manageable, describable, or digestible in writing at […]


  3. […] As I’ve learned repeatedly, my virtual friends are real, and this was never more true than in the weeks and months after my mother’s death. You all have taught me a lot about emotional […]


  4. […] could cause. Please be aware that I’ve always thought my Internet friendships were real and meaningful. How to be a friend in this setting is also something I’ve had to learn. I also agree with […]


  5. […] with regard to fandom as a whole, though. I will always be grateful for my fan friends, and particularly for their support in 2013. But so many of the dynamics of fandom puzzle me beyond belief. I’ve always thought that one […]


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