Sunday, February 25, 2018

Authenticity and Loss in the Blogosphere ~ Rest in Peace, Denise

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have taken the place of sincerity and superseded  authentic friendship?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 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 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 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'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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  1. Chris, what a lovely tribute to your friend Denise. I just followed the link and read her final post. She sounds like someone who is going to be missed by all who knew her. And I am sorry for your loss.

    1. Jean
      Thank you so much for stopping by, my friend....And for your kind words.
      If this is your first introduction to Denise, I am so happy that you were led to her blog! It is a treasure

  2. What touching and sincere points you make here, Chris. I'm so deeply sorry for your loss. May we remember that authentic friendship can happen anywhere, as long as our hearts and minds are open and walk in love. Thanks for this today.

    1. Beautiful words about friendship happening true.
      Thank you for that and for your visit, Stacey!

  3. It's crazy, how so many of us bloggers go into blogging and never consider our impact or the impact of others. We're all bonded, even when we're at odds, who knows the plight of a blogger more than another blogger, right?
    I'm so terribly sorry for the loss of your friend. Sending healing hugs!

    1. Such truth in your words, Dean about not truly getting our impact on others and vice versing when we take up the blogging thing......good points! Thank you for your kindness and for your visit.....


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