All around us

I’ve been thinking a lot about a couple of bloggers lately.  I’ve never met either one in person, but their posts have gotten under my skin.

Flea, at One Good Thing, wrote a pair of posts this month about her family’s experiences with poverty, bankruptcy, and nearly getting arrested for money laundering.  As she notes,  she didn’t post about it much while it was going on.   She left enough slip that regular readers could tell that they were having some trouble, but I had no idea how bad it had gotten.  (For what it’s worth, Flea is my nominee for most likely to write that Great American Health Insurance Novel that Phantom Scribbler suggested.)

Meanwhile, a month ago, WhyMommy at Toddler Planet was posting about her mother-in-law’s surgery for breast cancer.  Less than a week later, she was reporting her own breast cancer diagnosis.  She’s been posting regularly about what it’s like to have chemo, her feelings, plans, and more.

As I said, I haven’t met either of these women in person.  I don’t know what they look like.  It’s not likely, but WhyMommy could be the woman behind me on the grocery store line.  Or, more probably, that woman has her own set of issues on her mind — a shadow on a x-ray, a teenager failing all her classes, overdue bills, yet another miscarriage, a parent who doesn’t want to go into a nursing home but needs more help that she can provide, a job that may not be there next month.

No one gets a free pass through life.  And people don’t have flashing signs over their heads that tell us what they’re dealing with. So it’s probably safe to assume that who ever you’re bumping into, they’re probably having a hard day. 

5 Responses to “All around us”

  1. Phantom Scribbler Says:

    Beautiful post, Elizabeth. I don’t know how I missed reading Flea before, but now that you’ve pointed me there, I firmly agree: she could write it.

  2. trishka Says:

    indeed a beautiful post, elizabeth. thanks for the reminder.

  3. whymommy Says:

    Hi, Elizabeth. Want to know something funny? We have met. I started reading your blog years ago, actually, and came to the book party you had for Miriam Peskowitz. Your thoughtful posts inspired me (eventually) to start blogging as well. Now I blog because time is moving so fast. . . and I’m just trying to capture a little bit of it every day.
    Thanks for the nice words.
    WM

  4. Scrivener Says:

    I’ve had a similar kind of epiphany about the people around me due to blogging. I remember sometime ago, probably about 2 years ago, standing in line at the post office when I was in a particularly bad mood, looking around and thinking that everyone around me seemed so dumb and annoying, when it dawned on me that for all I knew someone in line with me was the pseudonymous author of a particularly fantastic blog that I read daily. I try to remind myself of that possibility as often as I can.

  5. Marthea Says:

    this is very similar post to the Desiderata – it’s important to remember to be a hero to strangers. Holding doors, exuding patience. Loving them when you have no particular reason to do so.

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