Friday, February 27, 2009


Not sure what to say other than I had to make a public acknowlegement of the many friends I've made...and are now slowly slipping away...through the strange and wonderful electronic intimacy of the internet.

It really hit home today, when I went to check in on some friends and their newly adopted sons and found that she is thinking of pulling herself in a little, retiring (or at least semi-retiring) her blog and connecting mostly through Facebook.

And she's right - the blogging takes time and energy that you just don't have after a long day of parenting. Or a long day of pretty much anything, but the little peeps in particular are special black holes of love and attention. There's no such thing as "too much". I manage because I spent the better part of twenty years going on four hours sleep a night for weeks at a time. I blog and blogread in the early mornings, or late at night, while my family is sleeping. I can understand completely the desire to pull yourself in, to restrict your confidence to the small group that you truly love, to devote the time to your close friends and family...and sleep!

I'm truly happy for her, and her husband, and their kids. It will be great for them, and for her.

When my grandfather was dying I was just a kid in school. I was frightened by death, and frightened by his appearance of age and sickness. So I asked him: aren't you scared? Aren't you sad?

My maternal grandfather was a very devout man, and I'm sure he'd thought a lot about his own death and the manner of his meeting it. And he was also a pastor, an "officer" in the Salvation Army, which is to say an ordained minister in an organization whose congregtion was the poor, the sick and the young. So he knew what to tell a scared kid.

Yes, he said, I'm a little scared, because I worry that it may hurt. And I don't want to leave your mom, or your Grandma, or you. But only a little.

And I'm not really sad, not for myself, because I hope and believe that I'm going to go on to a great adventure, to a place I've always hoped to see and never have. And because so many of my friends have already gone there, and I believe I'll see them again, and that makes me happy. The only thing I'm sad about is that I'll be leaving you, and you will be leaving me, for a long time. And I love you. And I'll miss you, and that makes me a little sad.

So I missed my Grandpa when he died, and tried not to be sad. But he was gone, and I loved him, and I missed him. And I would never be able to see and hear and talk to him the same way ever again.

The thing is, this friend, and other friends I've made through adoption, are "out there" on Facebook. I'll spare you a rant on Facebook, I've said my piece and it's not worth rehashing. But suffice to say that for me Facebook after blogging is like going to My Brother's Barbeque and getting a fucking McRib. It's like only being able to talk to my friends about shoes, or baseball, or crocheting. I can talk to them, but it was like "talking" to my Grandpa in prayer, the way my Grandma suggested. It just wasn't the same. There's always somebody else on the line giving someone a mojito or becoming a fan of the Most Bestest ABBA Cover Band Evah!


So another friend begins to slip away from the blogiverse, seperated by time and distance and the lack of one and the excess of another. So C, I know you'll be making more time for yourself and your DH and your adorable little guys and that makes you happy, and well it should. The only thing I'm sad about is that I'll be leaving you, and you will be leaving me, for a long time. And I love you. And I'll miss you, and that makes me a little sad.


Lisa said...

Your grandfather was wise. The truth is, one may fear pain and discomfort and the loss of one's beloved, but for the True Believer, there is a better day.

For those left behind, we cry for our loss. The best we can do is make our love known on this plane, and you have done so.

Facebook fails for me because I enjoy the intimacy of one-on-one. By necessity, when more are brought on board, the dialog is diluted. I know -- there is wisdom in crowds, and that can be found in comments, when the reader interacts with the thing he has read.

But it is still one person responding to another. For that, shy of commenting to a post, I can send an email.

FDChief said...

Lisa: Yes! I was trying to say what I found most unsatisfying about FB and you nailed it - it's the signal-to-noise ratio! It seems ideal for a sixteen-year-old who's used to doing four things at once. But this fifty-one-year-old likes the quiet intimacy of converstion, the thoughtful exchange of views, that requires more time and less...stuff.

And, for the record, I think it was Mark Twain who said that the intelligence of a crowd was equal to the intelligence of the smartest person in it divided by the number of people in the group.

So. Hmm.

Lisa said...

Thanks for the Twain. I'll take him over Malcolm Gladwell any day.