Monday, February 11, 2013

Why God Made Social Media

Dear John,
 
I had lunch at the hospital today with a new friend and her husband. We met on Pinterest. She repinned a photo of Goshen Hospital from my board "Hospitals I've Known and Loved," and commented that the Cancer Center was so good. So I commented back, then we friended on Facebook. She was here for her 1-year check-up - a huge milestone  - and had a break between MRI and MD. So we had lunch in the cafeteria. It was wonderful to meet them. We had a good time.
 
While I was there I ran into Kim 2, which was a delight. It seems that your doctor is still talking about how hard I fought for you to be treated agressively, and she says that without that you'd have died a long time before you did. It's good to hear that from somebody else, and said as commendation, not like "why did she drag things out so long." Because you were beating the cancer. I think the world of her and she cared so much about you. On the way out I saw Tracey and talked to her a bit. I know how much it meant to me when patient's families would come back by and you'd see that they were doing alright, and Tracey seemed to feel that way to. I also ran into Connie, which is always good. I told Peggy that you know you've spent too much time in a hospital when you can't walk far without running into a friend. Oh, and you'll love this. Peggy was going to see Candice, so I sent our love to her.
 
I've been realizing how important social media have been to me this past year. When you were in the hospital I could post on the first blog, send out a mass email that there was a new blog post, and get back to you. I could keep everybody posted without taking the time away from you, the phone battery time, and the money for overagess to make two dozen phone calls. And no matter how much you love people, there are times when you've given all your emotional strength and there's nothing left over for anybody else.
 
Since your death, Facebook has been a godsend. Even when I hermitted at home, I was never out of touch with people. I heard from people every day. They could know how I was without worrying about whether or not they should call. And hearing about their lives every day made it easier to avoid total self-absorption. And it cheered me up - even the politics. There was much to laugh about.
 
The second blog is writing that I would have done anyway. But putting it out there has been better than just writing in a notebook for myself. People that want to know how I'm REALLY doing can read the letters, and they can take a break when they need to. Maybe it's even been helpful for others. I've had some young readers tell me that this look inside a happy marriage has been enlightening and encouraging. It has helped me far beyond what I expected. This routine of sitting down at the end of the day and talking to you, just like we always have, has given me a concrete awareness of continued relationship and communication. And that gives me hope, and makes me feel less alone.
 
From Pinterest - knew you'd love it.
Pinterest doesn't look very applicable at first glance. But it makes me look at the outside world, and more importantly it makes me think of things I want to do in the future. That's the hardest thing for a new widow to do - plan for the future. I've carved out goal and dreams that are entirely due to Pinterest.  It's a place for self-expression where you can meet like souls. And it is good. 
 
So God bless social media! My world would be much narrower without it. I would have no idea of the wide, loving support system I have. I would have no plans and dreams. I wouldn't have the visual representations of my emotions, the symbols and commemorations that are so important to me. And you wouldn't have to read a letter every night. But since time is a created thing, and you are outside the material creation and therefore time is not present for you, you have plenty of non-time to read letters.
 
I love you so much! The people at Goshen Hospital remember and love you. The church remembers and loves you. All those people on Facebook love you. And what I pin about widowhood has helped other widows out there. The memory of you still inspires and encourages people who knew you. And it, and the hope of being reunited, keep me going. That and oatmeal. And ricotta cheese with flavored Stevia. All you need is love, oatmeal, cheese, and social media. And I need you, and here is one place that I find you. Thanks for being a faithful reader, of mind, heart, and blog.
 
Love you for all time and all non-time,
Joan.

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