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Blogathon for Tricia, Hour Fifteen: To Light a Candle

January 9th, 2010 (07:13 pm)

ftmichael asked that I write sometime tonight about a quotation in one of his icons: "It is better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness." He suggested that I write about it in the context of what I'm doing here today. But it struck me with a pang as I was thinking about the quotation that there's something else that sentiment entails, something that I should have said and I haven't yet -- rather inexcusably:

Thank you.

I have a little trouble thinking of what I'm doing as "lighting a candle". I'm not sure why. I know that, objectively speaking, the saying applies: all of us who love Tricia (not to speak of Tricia herself, my God) have been faced with the encroaching darkness, and each of us has done what we can. Today, while I've been typing and typing and typing and typing and typing, many of my relatives have been at Tricia's home, helping to redecorate her bedroom -- clearing the space for the hospital bed and the necessary medical equipment, but also just working to make it as bright and lovely and comforting as it can be, so that she will be spending her final days in a space where she can feel a little more at peace. I suppose I could feel guilty for not being there -- I could have done this blogathon another day, and gone to help with the redecorating as well -- but I don't, really. I'm bad in bustling social situations and I'm bad in crowded spaces and I'm bad at self-direction in situations like those. I don't think I'd have been much help. So I'm just doing what I figure I can do. In the end, I tell myself, it's enough, because it has to be.

I guess that would be the single candle. I'm just the one person with the one thing I can do, lighting the only candle I know how to light. It's better than darkness, hopelessness, despair.

I'll tell you what has been happening all around me ever since I started this blogathon, though. Since the day I first posted about it, you all have been lighting candles around me. All of you who have donated -- and I know that every single one of you who has donated a penny has donated as much as you can. All of you who haven't been able to donate but have stood by me, commenting, cheering me on. All of you who have linked this post out to your friends, who have expressed support in any and every way you know how -- those are the candles that matter most right now, as far as I'm concerned. Because they're the ones that are keeping me going.

I could blog and blog and blog all the livelong day and not have it amount to a hill of beans if it weren't for you guys. Except -- you know what? That's not even true. I couldn't blog all the livelong day. I would have punked out about eight hours ago if it weren't for you guys. And it's because of you all that I am going to get through the next five hours, too.

So, on Tricia's behalf, and on my own:

Thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. You mean more than you can possibly know.

This is the hour fifteen post of my blogathon for my aunt Tricia, who is dying of end-stage ovarian cancer and whose family is being hit with a whole lot of bills that they can't afford alone as a result. Donations can be made at the link given above. A number of topics are still unclaimed and can be bought for $5 or more.


Posted by: Nathaniel Wolfthorn (ganimede)
Posted at: January 10th, 2010 11:40 am (UTC)

Have I told you how awesome you are for doing this? I'm not sure :-P

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