A Death in the Blog
August 20, 2008
Several years ago I began participating in a large blog/discussion area site hosted by World Magazine, an evangelical Christian publication. As I am not a Christian (or any other kind of religious believer), my participation on such a web site is peculiar. I am peculiar. It’s probably genetic. My wife evidently comes from another planet, known as The Planet of the Chickadees. My wife and I were able to mate, producing a Toad (my daughter’s childhood nickname, which we still with her permission use). In turn the family has grown to include Random Granddaughter. We don’t know her species yet. We are waiting to see what emerges from the chrysalis. This is genetics you never learned in school. In fact, it’s genetics about 200 years ahead of Watson and Crick.
At times I found myself getting irritated with the World Magazine community, especially in regard to the topic of homosexuality. In one of my piques of irritation, I started a blog of my own. A few of the Christians participated. Early in my blog, I encountered David Rochester, and we began reading and commenting on each other’s blogs. For me, and evidently for him, our interactions have proved interesting, entertaining, and at times inspirational. We have similar problems from growing up in dysfunctional families, so we find much to talk about.
Over time, a blogging “community” has grown up, mostly inspired by David’s interesting and entertaining posts. I have participated in the David’s cluster/community and also had a little sub community of my own including at all times a few conservative Christians who enjoy reading and commenting in my blog, even though it probably endangers their immortal souls.
The cast of characters has varied over time: some of the active Christian participants include Pauline and Renaissance Man (who have their own excellent blogs), Cameron (whose husband Tim, a minister, has an excellent blog as well). Other Christian participants include Pete (who sent me tay berry bushes which are doing fine), mommy, Janie (whom I have not seen here for a while) and perhaps other infrequent lurkers. Spectrum, who has an fine blog educating people about muscular dystrophy, a disease she knows too much about as she suffers from that ailment, is also a strong Christian, but not a World participant.
I have exchanged emails with some of my blog participants, including some of the Christians. One of my most active correspondences took place with Vicky, who was known with the screen name “VS” at World. We talked about our children and our grandchildren and our spouses. Vicky asked me if Mrs. Random and I had been hippies. Sort of, but not much, I told her. I think she had been something of the hippie sort, but she became a born-again Christian as a young adult and remained so perhaps she was a “Jesus freak,” though I don’t’ think of religious believers as “freaks.”
She kept trying to convert me (in a good-humored way). She was tolerant of my tolerance with my daughter’s relationship with another woman. Vicky did not consider it a justified move to reject children because of their sexually unconventional relationships. She told me that her son lived with a woman (without marriage) and had a child in that relationship.
Vicky never revealed to me (or just about anyone else in her online life) that she was engaged in a long struggle with breast cancer. In that respect she was a very private person. She lived longer than her doctors thought she would, but she died not long ago. I learned about it on the World magazine website. She was a valued and appreciated member of that virtual community.
Her contributions to my little blog were pertinent, spunky, witty, forthright, and always welcome. I will miss her participation.