The opinion of the masses --- that social media and the blogosphere
have taken the place of sincerity and superseded authentic friendship?
I content quite the opposite....
If not for the virtual landscape
that irrevocably is interwoven through our lives,
would we not be blessed
by crossing paths with certain individuals?
What starts as a simple comment of introduction
across many miles, sometimes continents,
gradually becomes a solid and very "real" friendship.
~ Born in cyberspace, but very much the opposite of virtual.~
If not for social media and the blogosphere, I would never
have been blessed by certain
souls who've woven their care, their knowledge,
their selves into my life in the truest sense.
Think about it......you must have these same experiences, no?
.......friends who do everything for you from prayer to recipe
swap, to chatting up the latest Stars Hollow binge watch obsession.
And when one of those dear genuine people is suddenly gone.....
we're faced with a deep gaping hole.
True grief for a "real" friend.
That's why it's taken me a month to write this...
to process the loss of our friend one month ago when Denise,
entered into Eternal Life after a very long battle.....
The news created shock waves of sadness across
social media channels and within the blogosphere.
My friend, Denise, was a blogger and encourager.
Her words and her online
presence was grace to me.......to many.
No, I'd never "met" her.
Nor did the droves whose lives she graced with her words.
But, wow, those phone conversations, those emails, those fb messages.
Over this past decade of my friendship with Denise,
we shared sooo much....inside jokes,
parenting hacks, love of our Catholic faith, homeschool adventures,
admiration for The Bard.
And of course, our favorite and most fun subject~ all things Whovian.
There wasn't enough time to hash it all out
and I can't even
speculate on how often we'd lament
those pesky 500 or so miles between us.
She always seemed to "know" just
when to check in.......to chat about the journey.
Perpetually minimizing her effect.....her calm assurance, warm advice.
Recently, during a particularly difficult time in my life,
Denise reached out, offering encouragement,
telling me I was in her heart and prayers and she'd reply when she was
capable of lengthier, more meaningful talk.
That's what friends do, yes.....
And that message was her final one to me.
There was no mention of her pain, which I'm told was abundant.
Only that I was comforted.
That was Denise's true gift to all who knew her within
the myriad of relationships, ministries, volunteer organizations.
Denise thought always of how she could help others...
she was out there managing youth events in her Ohio parish
sharing her musical talent in her parish's choir
coordinating her local library's Doctor Who anniversary
by building........ you guessed it.....
a full sized TARDIS...and yes I do believe she actually
used Sherwin Williams "TARDIS blue" paint!
hosting weekly Whovian gatherings for her kids and their friends
in full costume, with themed snacks.
But the most important, and I know the most meaningful role
that Denise lived is right there in a short, simple
"bio" on her blog, St Elizabeth Ann Seton Exchange
I am a homeschooling mother of four living in rural northeastern Ohio. It's as simple as that.
Despite Denise's accessibility to and love for her parish and her community,
her devotion to her children, her advocacy for the best education possible for them
and the cultivating of the homeschooling experience for all four of her precious kids....
that's her legacy.
Denise's blog header, too,
summarizes the essence of how she lived her life:
Spiritual reflections, family,
home educating typical and special needs children ~
Dedicated to: Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Unborn. "Rejoice in hope, persevere in tribulations,
be constant in prayer."
Romans 12:12 Certe bonum certanem!
Fight the good fight!
The last time Denise updated her blog
was in her revealing and now-prophetic post, Time, Precious Time
I urge you .......go read her words.....you'll be rejuvenated by her
honesty, her pride in her kids, her humble fight against her illness
and her love of the Lord.
Denise entered Heaven and received her reward a few weeks before
the Lenten season began, but now that we're living this season,
I can't help reflecting on this passage~
God promises beauty from ashes (Isaiah 61:3)
God always keeps His promises.
While we mourn Denise, we thank God for the privilege
to know her virtually.... for the blessing that our world's technology
offers. We were gifted the honor of genuine friendship with
one who sought no fame, no name, no recognition,
nothing more than, as her blog states,
"simply" being a "homeschooling mother of four."
Rest in Peace, my friend.
The honor is ours.
Thank you for spending some of your precious time today
here at my home on the web!
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Until next time,