Saturday, March 03, 2007

Community

UPDATE: Squirl talked to Nick and will be posting some information on his blogsite for him. He is doing alright, although things aren't going particularly well. Please keep him in your prayers!



I’m in a melancholy mood tonight. One of my favorite bloggers hasn’t posted on either of his blogs since Sunday. I’m worried about him. He had a case of the flu from hell and he posted every day to let us know how he was feeling. His mom was in the hospital and he posted religiously to let his faithful readers know her condition. I think if the Martians invaded the earth, he would manage to post from under his bed, telling us how to avoid their death rays. I can’t remember more than 2 days going by without a post from Nick. He’s that kind of faithful. And he’s not just a faithful blogger. He’s a man of faith. I have the utmost respect and admiration for him.

In the last several months, he’s had more than his share of trials and tribulations. His health isn’t good and he’s had other difficulties. Through it all, his posts have been inspirational and uplifting. He’s a wonderful human being, who would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it.

Nick’s absence has led me to do some deep thinking. I know how hard that is for you to believe. I’m usually all about my cats or telling some silly story about dating my peripherals, but really, it has.

When I started blogging, it was to keep my family updated on my latest antics and show them the photos I’d taken. Then some of you commented and I realized that someone other than my family was reading the silly stuff I wrote, so I started reading your blogs. It was like being invited into your lives. Granted, it was just the part of your lives that you wanted me to see, but to a certain extent it was like being a guest in your home. Living in a rural area lends itself to a certain amount of isolation and loneliness and blogging helped to lessen that. I came to look forward to reading your blogs more and more. Now I spend at least a half an hour a night or more, visiting the friends in my new-found community.

So you see, I’ve found myself caring about people I’ve never met in real life. It’s been brought to my attention that I probably care more than I should, but I’m that kind of person. When I care, I open myself up, completely. In the past, it hasn’t always proven itself to be a good thing, but in this case, so far, it has.

So what happens when someone in the blog community disappears? I’ve known people who’ve given it up and closed down their blogs, but in my experience, they’ve made an announcement or proclamation of some sort before doing so. But I’ve never seen anyone vanish, especially not someone that I care about and feel that I know so well. I worry that he’s sick and can’t communicate that to those of us who care about him. I worry that his mom is failing, or worse. I worry. I do that well.

The friendship and companionship I have found within the blogging community has been a godsend to me. But this new development worries me, greatly. If I knew Nick in real life, I would know what was going on right now. I’d be with him through his time of trouble or driving him to see his mother in the hospital. I’d be taking care of Alex, the cat that owns him, while he took care of his obligations to his mother or to himself.

But here I sit, unable to do anything. I’m a “fixer” and I don’t know how to fix this.

Nick’s sudden departure from the blog world has shaken me up. I know his email address and his physical address and I’ve managed to track down his home phone number. I don’t want him to think I’m a stalker, so I haven’t called it, yet. Yet is the operative word. If I don’t hear something from him tomorrow, I’m going to call.

Does that make me crazy? I don’t know. It just seems like the right thing to do.

28 comments:

ThomasLB said...

I'm worried about him, too.

threecollie said...

You say it so well....you get to really care about the people you "talk" to every day...and there is nothing to do when they vanish, but wait and wonder.
I have a Net friend in Boston, whom I met on a game site where we have played Battleship for over six years now. Every day we bomb boats and chat about the weather or whatever. Then every now and then he just disappears...gone...for weeks at a time. He has serious health problems and I know he is in the hospital again...or I HOPE that he is. Sometimes he has time to have a real life friend email me about it; sometimes I worry for a week or two...so I understand how you feel.
I really hope your friend is all right!

Mary said...

Laurie, I completely understand. Call him. I've seen Nick's comments on your blog and I even visited his once. He's full of words and writes so well. I agree with you in that if I didn't see your comments around or if you didn't post in over a week, I'd wonder and worry.

I loved the way your described blogging and relationships it forms. Very honest and true.

You are not nuts. I'd e-mail or call, at least.

Squirl said...

I'm worried about Nick, too. The times he hasn't updated before were when Alex knocked Dr Pepper into his computer and the time his place caught on fire and he ended up in the hospital for smoke inhalation.

I've found a lot of fun in reading blogs. But I've also found real pain and tragedy in people's lives. It does hurt when the most you can do is leave sincere comments and pray for them.

Sometimes, I've been able to get an address and have sent cards or flowers. But that's when the blogger is still there updating.

Please call Nick. If you don't want to then please e-mail me his phone number and I'll do it. If you would, please send me his number anyway. I think he'd be very okay with this.

Laurie said...

Thomas, I called and there was no answer. Squirl has the number now, too and we will keep trying. I'll update the moment I hear something.

Threecollie, I'm sorry that your friend is ill. It's amazing how much we can care about people we've not met in person...

Mary, he's a great guy. We email fairly regularly back and forth, so I'm quite worried that he's not gotten ahold of me.

Squirl, thanks! Hopefully between the two of us we will be able to get ahold of him. It is so hard not being able to help out a friend...

NatureWoman said...

Oh gosh, if you guys email back and forth regularly, I would definitely call - and I see you did. Hmmm, yeah, keep trying.
It's amazing how this world of blogging can enhance your life, isn't it? I've also "met" a nice group of people that I really care about, too.

Thailand Gal said...

I would definitely keep calling him. You know, one of the realities of this blog culture, the email culture, the mailing list culture, is that real people are behind the screens ~ and the feelings don't go away just because the screensaver comes on.

And that really is a good thing.:)


Peace,


~Chani

Laurie said...

Naturewoman, Squirl and I are doing everything we can to find out where and how he is. I'll let you know as soon as I do.

And I agree with you. I love my blog buddies, even if I've never met them in real life.

Laurie said...

Chani, once again you've hit the nail squarely on the head "real people are behind the screens ~ and the feelings don't go away just because the screensaver comes on". Well said!

Squirl and I will keep trying and keep you posted.

Within Without said...

I'm not a visitor to Nick's blog...I think he's the fellow in the Santa hat?

Anyway, Laurie, life is all about intention. And you have beautiful intentions.

Whether you decide to take it farther is really up to you. But Nick already knows all he needs to know -- that you care about him and that your intention is to help him.

And that's a fantastic thing.

Within Without said...

What a beautiful and appropriate song, too...

Hugs and smiles :-)

Laurie said...

WW, yes, Nick is the fellow in the Santa suit, holding his cat, Alex. I've tried and tried to call and Squirl has tried reaching his son. I'm not sure what else we can do but pray he is alright.

I'm glad you like the song, I believe I've heard it on your blog before. :-)

Dave said...

If you feel the need to find out about your friend then do it! It will make you feel better and it will let him know that out there in this crazy mixed up world there are people who are friends and have concern. Email and help yourself.

Laurie said...

Dave, thanks, I did that. No response yet, but I'll keep trying. I'm glad you are feeling better!

mist1 said...

Okay, I"m pretty new here...I hate it when a blogger disappears too. Did you get his contact information from him directly?

It would completely freak me out if someone from my blog randomly called me. Send me an email anytime, but call me when I haven't given you my number and I'm sure to be creeped out.

ThomasLB said...

I left a note with chica40208. She's listed as the co-author on his blog, and kept us up to date when Alex wiped out his computer a few months back.

Laurie said...

Mist, Nick gave me his address, etc a month or so ago when he was going through some tough times. But you're right, it would be kind of creepy to have a fellow blogger call you out of the blue.

Thomas, thank you! Please let me know what you find out.

Bonita said...

Laurie, I know the dread and fear you feel, when someone you've cared about has stopped writing. Hang in there, and keep your spirit positive.

I started blogging almost 2 years ago in response to a blogger that I felt 'needed help'. I hoped my posts could revitalize his hope about living, and I wrote and wrote, but he became more despairing and negative. His life ended very tragically. I remember wishing, hoping, that somehow there could have been some way to help him. It is amazing, how we come to really care about bloggers that we've not even met, and hope that all is going well for them.

Laurie said...

Bonita, I'm sorry about your friend. I know you helped him, though. He knew you cared and that means a lot.

As for Nick, I'm concerned about his health and his circumstances. All I can do is pray that he is alright and as you say, keep my outlook positive.

And you are right, it is amazing how much we come to care for someone we've never even met.

ThomasLB said...

Still no word- but if I find anything out, I will let you know.

I'm concerned, but Nick's like a cork- he'll always pop back to the top.

Laurie said...

Thomas, thank you, that is good to know about Nick.

ThomasLB said...

Thanks for keeping me updated!

wd said...

I haven't been blogging very long, but I'm amazed at how people tend to fold other people sometimes 1000's of miles away into their bosom of care, concern and friendship. You are a shining example of that Laurie -- and it makes me even more aware of how important it is to "keep up" with the people around that we care about.

(HUGE bear hug) ...b

Squirl said...

I'm glad you put that update here. Thanks, good team work. :-)

Reverend Sumangali Tania Pink said...

Laurie - I didn't realise you were doing so much to search for Nick. Thank you. I tried with Peanut to get his number today.

You said a mouthful on your post and you expressed so beautifully what I too have been feeling.

I didn't post much this week so I thought perhaps life was just happening, but when you mentioned it today I realised I was not alone in my thinking.

I'm so glad he's safe and I'm so glad we are linked in this community. You are a good heart dear friend.
xx
pink

Laurie said...

Thomas, thanks for all of your help!

Wd, thanks for the bear hug. It is funny how much we come to care for our fellow bloggers. :)

Squirl, you did a great job of figuring out his where-abouts and updating his blog. We are a good team!

Pink, thanks *blush*. I know Nick (and a lot of others) would do the same if someone dropped off the screen. As far as I can tell, there are a lot of caring bloggers in our community.

Gina said...

I hope things turn out ok for him!

I have also found a wonderful community of people that I like to think of as my friends, even though I've never met the majority of them.

Laurie said...

Gina, I hope so too.

I feel the same way the bloggers I call friends as well . :)