I lost a blogging friend last week. It’s odd how the people we meet only through their blogs can seem like friends, but I guess that’s what happens when people write about their own lives, honestly and openly. Those who read and comment on their posts really do feel as if they actually know the person who wrote them. And few people wrote more openly and honestly than Martha, the late author of .https://whitehairgrace.com/
When I first started following her blog, Martha was writing about striving to live her remaining years as fully as possible. I’m about 15 years younger, but her words still spoke to me. We live in a society that values youth, and it can be a challenge to look for the blessings that come when we have more years behind us than we do ahead. Then she was diagnosed with cancer, and that became the topic of most of her writing. Still, her spirit shone through in every post, despite the struggles with treatment, the brief remission and finally the acceptance of her upcoming death. I won’t even try to explain how much I valued her blog, because I don’t have her eloquence. I’ll only say her posts were a gift that I very much appreciated.
My regular readers know that I volunteer as a dog walker at our local shelter three times a week. It’s very satisfying to help shelter dogs, but it can also be very draining, both physically and emotionally. Those of us who spend a lot of time in shelters develop close friendships, probably because we support each other through the hard times. One of the people I leaned on the most was an adoption counselor named Sherry. She always listened to us, answered our questions, and offered comfort and encouragement when we needed it. She was usually cheerful and upbeat, and known to break into an impromptu dance when she thought the occasion warranted it…and the occasion almost always did.
Sherry was in the middle of her own battle with cancer when my husband was diagnosed. And even though she’d retired from the shelter and was undergoing very difficult treatments, she called me at least once a week to ask how my husband was doing. They had the same kind of cancer, so her advice was on target and very helpful. The many, many, people who knew her were devastated when Sherry passed away. I was amazed at the sheer number of heartfelt tributes that appeared on social media, and I’m suer that was just a fraction of the people she’d helped in her life.
I honestly believe that people like Martha and Sherry are examples to us all. They weren’t perfect, and didn’t pretend to be. But they shared the best of themselves with others, each in her own way. Whether it was in the blogging world or the shelter world, they helped others with their openness, their wisdom and most of all their generous spirits. They were the kind of people who light the way for others who are sometimes still stumbling in the dark. May their light shine on forever…….