****THIS IS A RATHER LONG POST. I ASK THAT YOU READ ON UNTIL THE END AND PLEASE COMMENT SO I KNOW THAT MY NUMB BUM MADE AN ACTUAL DIFFERENCE*****
I love Pioneer Woman. I love her website, I love her food, I love her stories, her photography, her funny/weird sense of humor. I love how from her site, I have found many, many other interesting blogs and such.
She is very successful. She quite often will have awesome give-aways. And I mean awesome. Things like Kitchen Aids,
Le Cruset cookware,
camera equipment, cameras, photoshop programs.....you get the idea. So I'm always checking her site and entering every contest she has just in case. You never know. I could beat out one of the perhaps 25,000 other entries for whatever prize is up for grabs! (yeah, right...)
So the other day, I'm cruising her site, and see another awesome giveaway. This time it's several Photoshop CS4 programs. I would love to have Photoshop. I have wanted Photoshop for over a year and just can't bring myself to justify forking out the bucks. Along with the Photoshop, she is offering a Nikon D80 WITH Photoshop together! How exciting!!! So I begin to read further. I discover that the Photoshop alone is a straight-up givieaway, while the Nikon is a raffle-type deal. Okay. Cool.
I must now back track....
PW has many friends and online connections she has made through her blog. One of them is the Fat Cyclist. He is a guy she met while they were both up for a blogging award a few years ago. They became friends and I remember reading a short comment about him several months ago on her cooking page. Out of curiosity I clicked on her link to his home page. I read with mild interest and sadness about the struggle his family has been going through due to her diagnosis of breast cancer in 2003. Then I moved on. I mean, you hear sad things everyday, and I really have no particular interest in cycling, right? So it became just one more blip in my site-hopping history.
return to the present......
I read through the contest specs to see what I had to do. Usually PW wants you to answer a question of some sort. I became clear to me that the raffle was actually PW's way to help support her friend Fatty's involvement in Lance Armstrong's LIVESTRONG Challenge. For every $5 you donated to Team Fatty, you received a virtual ticket to win the camera package. Now I think this is great. I admire people who are motivated to help friends and others in such ventures. But I long ago determined that if I gave to every plea I saw to a cause, or a team, or whatever, I would put myself in the poorhouse. (as opposed to just sitting on the front steps of the poorhouse, which is my regular spot!) So I decided that rather than entering to win the Photoshop, and ignoring the raffle for the camera, I would pass altogether, thereby forgoing any related guilt for not donating $$$. That works, right?
So contest passes. I move on with my life. (after all, there's so much to move on with!)
Today I decide to take another peek at PW's photography page. Hmm.....she hasn't updated since the raffle. I guess I'll check to see who won. Lucky buggers.....But WAIT!! tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-clunka-clunka-tick (this is the sound of things falling into place in my brain) I look closer at the picture that went along with the post:
EGAD!!! I KNOW this woman! This is Susan Nelson. One of the three girls besides myself who enrolled in cosmetology school in 1987 and formed quite the tight little group since we were so small! This is Susan who we used to make fun of because she drove like a grandma at age 19. We teased her incessantly when she met and fell in love with Eldon because they were so lovey-dovey and smoochy at the bowling alley! (and every where else for that matter---in a very good-girl, mormon couple headed for the temple sort of way, of course...) Susan Nelson who I haven't heard from or about in nearly 20 years, but still remained somewhere close to the surface of my thoughts purely because we really were a close, close group while we were at school.
Now I am just SICK!! I spent the next hour following all the links I could, reading about all the trails she is experiencing due to her illness.
Should I be ashamed that it took the realization that I now had a personal connection to the story to want to take the time to find all that out?
Well, I am.
Sometimes I worry that I have created so much busy-ness for myself in the form of a large family, that I have
justified my ability to turn away from others and their problems because don't I have enough of my own? Don't get me wrong. I do feel for people when I hear about struggles they may be going through, but my willingness to help is directly related to how close I am to them. I just know from the past that I can't get carried away on behalf of everyone else unless I feel that things at home are taken care of. Which they never seem to be......
But I digress.
The real reason I wanted to post this was in hopes that I could entreat all 12 of my blog readers to do what I finally did. Think of how strong Susan must be to continue fighting in face of the compounded problems that have come from an initial diagnosis of breast cancer. Think of her four children and husband and how strong they must be as well. Put yourself in her position and think of what it would be like to seriously face leaving your family here without you. To know that your husband just wants to FIX as much of the problem as he can, but can never actually attack the root of it himself. Realize that one of the positive things to come from the situation is pulling people together into something that actually CAN attack the root of it, like donating a buck or two to the LAF or any other worthy, legit cancer fighting cause.
And for those of you who don't judge me too harshly for being a thoughtless, self-absorbed dolt, and also happen to have a much larger readership than myself, could you possibly post a link to this on your blog and hope that someone else will have some insta-compassion and feel compelled to also donate?
Thank you very much.
Good luck Susan and Eldon (sittin' in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g. Sorry, I couldn't help it.....)
That is all.