Thursday, August 18, 2005

The kindness of strangers

It's amazing to me how 'real' this virtual community of bloggers is. I'd been thinking a lot these past few days about all the great ABD folks' websites I seemed to find just as I completed my degree (except ABDMom's--she and I have been in this together for a while now). Those of you who are observant should notice a slew of new links (well, a small slew)--mostly to cool, interesting dissertators and other academics. If I'd know about all these blogs before, I suspect I would have felt less miserable and less alone these past few years. Even now, I definitely feel more "AB" than "Ph" D, so I'm reveling in the (painful, at times) camaraderie I wish I had found sooner.

I mentioned Dr. B's recent airfare fundraising bit of goodwill to my husband, who was suitably impressed by the generosity and connection among those in blogland (something he knows well, as the original blogger in our family, and the more widely-read, internet-wise). And when I told him about this site, an effort by Academic Coach to raise funds to assist an ABD and her family, he just shook his head in pleased bemusement, and we shared a "people are great" smile. It's a small, good thing among days that have felt more like "life is cruel."

Recently I wrote, in the context of a complaint about my own husband's battle with cancer, about how lucky I am: lucky to have my husband around when so many people thought he wouldn't be, lucky to have been able to adopt the most amazing little girl in the world, and especially lucky, these days, to have decent health insurance so that our family is not in the dreadful plight that Badger's is. Her story, as you can imagine, has touched me deeply, and the outrage I feel at the "medical establishment" (and the administrations, past and present, who have helped to precipitate this mess) is immense, unspeakable. I know all too well how awful the cancer thing can be; having the sorrow along with the financial anxieties Badger faces is unimaginable to me.

We can't really do much about the sorrow, the grief, the anger, and the suffering--those are inevitable. We can do something to chip away at the mountain of debt, and to clear away some of the clouds of isolation, loneliness, and fear that this disease always carries in its wake.

One more time: here's the link to donate. I myself was recently the beneficiary of some incredible generosity from a fellow blogger; here's my chance to do the same.


At 9:29 AM , Blogger academic coach said...

Thank you for these generous and moving words. Thank god you're not in B.'s position insurance-wise. My thoughts are with you -- and I'm glad that you and B. are in touch with one another. More silver linings of the sad storms in our community

At 6:32 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am hoping you will share your story.
child story kindness


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