Where in the World is Ann T. Hathaway?
Living in community is hard. It's joyful & hilarious & comforting & all kinds of uplifting too. But life is not all happy happy joy joy and sometimes it hurts to have friends. I've done a fairly good job of being distant from my in real life friends all these years – literally & figuratively. You won't get a random call from me (unless it's your birthday - & even then it's iffy – sorry KJ!). It's not that I don't want to know what's happening – it's that maybe I'll have to be with you in your misery as well as your joy. I'm not really very good at that – and I tend to anesthetize my feelings with food or mindless computer games. Add the stresses of my own life and you have the recipe for a coronary.
And now I have an online community, & bloggers have a way of not letting you keep your distance. It's all this intimate reading of each other's thoughts & feelings. I find myself having to be with these folks in their misery & joy too. And of course, it's a little easier to do that over the interwebs. I can write a nice comment and feel like I've "been" with the person. Most of the time that doesn't let me off the hook – I still feel for the person even if I've moved on to the next blog.
But when it's really hard, and what's making my heart hurt these days, is when they go away. Sometimes we know why. Barry left us and his wife Linda told us about it. We're still mourning his loss – and there are certain posts where I still wonder what he would say about what I wrote. Goldenrod left us, and her daughter Polimom told us about it. I can't believe that force of nature with whom I just had a great phone conversation in July, is now lost to us. And there have been bloggers who just decided that it was time for them to close their blogs. And they told us they were leaving, so we could say goodbye if we needed to (or maybe I stalked them tracked them down so I could say goodbye).
And now Ann T. Hathway is missing entirely. Her blog is still there, with no portent of doom. The last post is a happy one. But she hasn't posted since before Labor Day. And she doesn't respond to email. And she apparently doesn't answer the phone (another blogger (thanks Gia!) has tried to call and had the police do a well-being check). And I'm so desperately afraid for this woman I've never met. Maybe she needed a break, but I'm pretty sure she would have told us.
So I'm left imagining the worst and hoping she'll read this post & be embarrassed and mad about it. I really want her to be mad at me.
In fact, I'm praying for it.
P.S. Almost immediately after I finished writing this I felt as though a weight had lifted from my shoulders. Writing my pain helped dissapate it. And that reminds me of why I blog in the first place - to get all that emotion out there for the world to see so that it can help carry the load. Thanks!