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Lisa

Posted on Friday, February 27th, 2009

Dave!Where to begin with Lisa.

Lisa and I got off to a rocky start. She had been dropping by Blogography with witty comments for a while, so I added her blog to my feed reader and started following her writings at Clusterfook. After a while of back-and-forth we had arrived at one of those "blogger friendships" that seems to develop with people you know online but don't really know at all. We'd email from time to time, but it was all superficial niceties that precluded any real personal connection.

All that changed after I had been traveling for a couple days and finally had a chance to catch up with blogs. Lisa had written a frustrated rant about how she gets tons of comments when she blogs about stupid crap, but when she writes asking for help raising money for cancer research, there was nothing. She then went on to say some harsh words to her readers about "not caring about cancer" and pondering why she even bothered to try and make a difference. At first I was confused, until I read her previous entry asking for sponsorship in a cancer-walk. Then I was angry, because not only was I not given a chance to offer support before she lashed out, but because I have a sister who had just had cancer surgery for a second time. I left a comment basically saying "GIVE PEOPLE A CHANCE, IT'S ONLY BEEN ONE DAY!" and "HOW DARE YOU TELL ME I DON'T CARE ABOUT CANCER!"

I expected that would be the last I heard from Lisa.

But I was wrong.

She wrote to me and apologized. And she insisted on sending my sister one of the bracelets she sells to raise money for cancer research. It was all very surreal and unexpected, because that's just not the way that superficial online relationships usually work.

But this was Lisa.

She had survived cancer three times and knew that life was just too short for this kind of crap.

And then, just as we were getting to be much better friends, the bomb was dropped. Lisa had cancer again. Lisa was fighting for her life again.

We finally met in person a month later at TequilaCon 2008 in Philadelphia. Lisa arrived way early with her husband, "Dude," to help claim space at the bowling alley for the event, but I had already slammed two shots and was working on a beer by then (social functions are much easier for me once I've got some alcohol in me). After introducing herself and Dude then saying "hi" to everybody, Lisa cried "DAVE!!" and ran up to give me a big hug.

At last.

She then announced that she "has to get a picture of this important moment" and handed her camera to Dude. "It can't be too important if I'm drunk" I tell her...

Dave and Lisa

"Oh they're all important" she replied.

   

I don't know what I could possibly add to that. Except that I will miss her.

   

My thoughts are with Lisa's husband, daughters, friends, and family today. Your every moment with Lisa was important to her.


Categories: Blogging 2009Click To It: Permalink
   

Comments

  1. Howard says:

    “Oh, they’re all important”

    You’re right, Dave. There is nothing left to say after that.

  2. I’m sad that I don’t have a picture of our happy moment together at TC ’08, but I’m grateful to have the happy memory.

  3. Juli says:

    A great argument for why it’s sometimes good to yell at people! :) What a great meet-up and reminder about the daily things that can seem mundane. Lisa has got it going on and knows what matters. Thanks for sharing!

  4. serap says:

    They most certainly are all important. My thoughts are with you Dave, and Lisa’s family and friends.

  5. Colin B. says:

    They are all important. She is an inspiration to us all and she will be missed. Thank you for this beautiful post Dave.

  6. foo says:

    “Oh they’re all important” – I love that…thanks for sharing with us.

  7. I’m glad she’s not hurting any more and I hope to meet her in heaven some day.

  8. Karl says:

    They’re all important. Wow.

  9. Jeff says:

    I didn’t know her but I’ve listed to her 2HT Radio interview with Karl many times on my iPod. Thanks for the beautiful tribute.

  10. Kevin says:

    While I didn’t know Lisa, I appreciate the love you and those who knew her express. Thanks for the post.

  11. martymankins says:

    Great story. Sad to hear of her loss, but good to hear she is out of pain.

    My thoughts are with her family.

  12. A Lewis says:

    What a great example of how important online/blog/virtual relationships can be…. they cannot be diminished simply because the are “online.” What a testament to her, to you, and to those who battle cancer on a daily basis. Wow. Wow. We just never know.

  13. i’m glad you shared your story, dave. thanks.

  14. Mooselet says:

    I wish I knew her in person, but I found her blog to be very powerful and touching. Thanks for sharing your story, Dave.

  15. Anthony McG says:

    What a lovely tribute Dave.

  16. yellojkt says:

    You’re not supposed to make me cry. What a wonderful post.

  17. noraisins says:

    That was absolutely beautiful. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  18. Sorata says:

    Catching up with my blogroll… just read this post… I’m to hear about Lisa. Thoughts to Lisa’s family… and you.

  19. John says:

    Thanks Dave, for this very honest story about human relationships, and how easily people can misunderstand each other. I read it earlier today, but came back just now to read it again, as it is providing me with some fortitude to appeal to the “better angels” of my own nature in dealing with a stressful relationship close to home.

  20. Winter says:

    You always get right to the stuff that means the most, Dave. Well done.

  21. CP says:

    Wow. I can’t believe Lisa has been gone that long already. I remember the post you are talking about, the one where she vented on everyone. She stirred up a wasps nest of angry bloggers who felt the way you did. Having been a cancer survivor myself, I got upset too. I had missed the previous post the same way you had. I wasn’t very good at reading everyone every day back then.

    Hindsight being what it is, I now totally get her frustration.

    In light of recent events, with another blogger friend of ours losing her daughter in a car accident and her son remaining in a coma, this post couldn’t be more timely for me. I was just thinking the other day…I have asked so many people to please, just donate a dollar or even a blog post devoted to this family. It’s been such a struggle to get people to help. And I have felt that very same sense of exasperation that Lisa was feeling back then.

    But, after reading your memorial post, I feel a little better. Lisa was a real role model. She handled her illness with grace and an assured, quiet dignity. She knew she was dying and yet, she still resolved herself to making other people laugh, think, cry and explore possibilities. She was a fantastic woman. She is missed terribly in the blogosphere and in the hearts of everyone who adored her wit, charm and easy smile.

    Thank you for reminding me of all that, Dave. I think it was just the kind of push I needed to keep doing what I am doing. This was a great tribute piece, my friend. And she was right…every moment is an important one.

    You never know when it’s going to be your last.

  22. whitenoise says:

    I’m glad that you remember people this way, Dave. Fifty years from now most of us well be gone, but Blogography will have preserved snapshots of people like Lisa who mattered.

  23. walt says:

    Dave, I hate cancer. I hate that nothing gets done in this world. We talk, we say we care, we wear our ribbons…but these signs $$$ cut/divide/draw how much we care. And heaven forbid we talk about caring enough to help people with tax dollars…oh but it’s okay to pay a politician $14,000 a month, plus health care. It makes me angry. Cancer has taken nearly all of my family and the ribbon hasn’t stopped it. Only when we finally get it will these signs $$$$ no longer stand in the way. But until then ain’t no ribbon going to stop the root of the problem.

  24. Winter says:

    I’m so glad you posted this. Re-posted it, rather. I remember the whole “power of blog” thing like it was yesterday. So hard to believe this much time has passed. Thank you for reminding me.

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