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Gratitude and the FDL Community


It’s been a long, long week, especially for those of us who know and love Jane.  We’ve fretted together, worried about Jane and her family, prayed, sent out thoughts and lit candles.  We’ve refreshed comments endlessly to check for news.

I spent a lot of time this week waiting by the phone, both hoping that it would ring and dreading it should there be bad news.  Jane got word that her mother was gravely ill late on Friday night/Saturday morning.  She waited to call and tell me until a decent hour on Saturday, so I could have a cuppa coffee in my system before we talked about how we would handle things.  (That’s the Jane that I know so well — thinking about me, even in a crisis, and knowing that a coffee infusion would be necessary on a Saturday.)  I cannot tell you how grateful I am that I could help her in this time of need — it was a grace for me to be able to help.

From that point, the week has really been a blur of marathon blogging and thread reading and very little sleep.  But I wanted to say a few words of thanks to everyone here and in the larger progressive blogosphere, because the reaction and response has been so overwhelmingly positive.  This sounds incredibly corny, but we really are a family here at FDL — and in the greater lefty side of the spectrum, there is so much willingness to pitch in and help.

It’s been overwhelming how many e-mails I’ve gotten from people saying, "What can I do to help out you and Jane?"  Honestly, too many to list here, but a heartfelt thank you to everyone — especially to the gracious souls who have sent me guest posts so that I wouldn’t have to marathon blog the whole week.  (At about Tuesday, the peanut hit the "momma, no computer" wall, so having a few things in the bank was invaluable for me.)

I spoke to Jane a couple of times yesterday.  She is doing as well as can be expected.  Her mother went peacefully, with her loving daughters at her side, holding those gnarled hands.  Jane got to spend the whole week with her because everyone so graciously pitched in here.  From my heart, I thank you, each and every one of you, especially the guest posters and all the "stagehands" who have made a difficult week for Jane a much less stressful one in terms of FDL.  I can’t tell you how much I appreciated all of the help and the words of encouragement and care and grief and what they have meant to Jane and her family.

The "Sorrow" thread from yesterday is the single most amazing outpouring of love that I have ever seen.  I spent an hour and a half last night reading through all the comments, tears running down my face, as old wounds from my Granny’s death surfaced and were healed.  So to everyone, thank you for that as well.

We’re going to take it step by step the next coupla days.  But Immanentize and Lotus came up with an idea last night that I think is wonderful — and Jane loved it as well when we talked about it yesterday evening.  Tomorrow morning, I’ll start with the Pull Up a Chair thread (thanks, Imm, for being the catalyst for this last week…it is quickly becoming my favorite thread).  This week’s theme will be a virtual potluck for Jane and her family.  You can share the recipes that you would normally share with friends and family during happy and sad times, stories about grief or loss or joy or whatever you feel like sharing.  I get the feeling we could all use a little hug at the moment — I know I could, anyway.  And I think this is a great way to do just that.

Because we’re a community, and we pull together in times like these and use them to build even stronger bonds.  And then we are going to take this new-found strength and use it to bring our nation out of the shadows and back into the bright light of day. 

(And a short word to the vile trolls who keep trying to spew forth filth:  I feel very sorry for you, and your families, that you do not have the emotional sense and manners to simply say, "I’m sorry for your loss."  I’ll pray for you, because you clearly need it.  But in the meantime, understand this — your juvenile, nasty behavior has only served to strengthen our bonds, our friendship and our resolve.  So whatever your nasty mission was, you have spectacularly failed.  Heckuva job.)

(This is my all time favorite Calvin and Hobbes moment.  I am a huge, HUGE, fan and I miss this series so much.  Mercifully, there is a complete boxed set — which I will fork over the money for one of these days.  If you don’t know the magic and the joy of C&H, take a peek here.)

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com