A week ago, I began a short “series” introducing my blogging friends — those whose links I’ve included on my blog. It just seemed right to let my readers know who these people featured on my blog are, and how I found or know them. Go here for part 1.
I’m going to dub this next group The Emilie Group. Each of these women bloggers is, in one way or another, connected to Emilie Lemmons, who made her blog shine with honesty and depth until her death this past December. I suppose it would only seem reasonable to start with Emilie.
LEMMONDROPS. Author: Emilie. I’d only been in the blogging world a couple months when I received word that Emilie Lemmons, a writer I’d come to know online through a Catholic writers list, had just found out she was battling soft-tissue sarcoma (cancer). Through another writer on our list, she was requesting our prayers for her health. When I saw the photo of her propped up in bed with her small boys nearby in the post from that day, I was brought to my knees. She was struggling with the thought of having to wean her baby, Ben, due to upcoming chemotherapy, not to mention the prospect of possibly dying. It just seemed so unfair that a mother of young ones would have to be dealing with such tragic prospects. I read Emilie faithfully from that point until her untimely death on Christmas Eve 2008. And I’ve chosen to keep “Lemmondrops” on my blog list, even though there are no recent posts, nor will there be, ever. Even so, I believe her words will continue to have a powerful effect on those who are privileged to read them, and I feel honored to have her among my list. Emilie also wrote a column for the Catholic Spirit. See her final column here. (P.S. I can’t help but think, from the above photo, that Emilie’s is gazing down on us from her new home.)
MARKETING MAMA. Author: Melissa. As I came to appreciate Emilie’s words and respect her blogging, I took a peek one day at the blogs she was following, and came across Marketing Mama. She, too, had a fun blog that seemed worth checking out and keeping nearby, but I didn’t really get to know Missy until after Emilie’s death. During that time, many people who had known Emilie, some from separate contexts, found themselves reaching out to each other in our grief through blogging and Facebook. I have loved getting to know Missy, even though it took Emilie’s death to really bring us together. Missy is a strong but gentle advocate of breastfeeding (one post on the subject), a topic that is near and dear to my heart as well. She’s also really good at finding great products for kids (and those who parent them) and sharing those great ideas with others. She quickly became knowledgeable about food allergies in children after a recent scare with her young daughter, who broke out in hives, forcing Missy’s attentiveness to this issue. For so many reasons, I am delighted to have Missy on my blog list, and I look forward to continuing to follow her parenting journey.
KIDWATCH. Author: Molly. Yet another blessing that followed Emilie’s death, my relationship with Molly formed online when we connected, first, through a Facebook memorial commemorating Emilie’s life. Soon enough, I learned she’s from Fargo, and just a slight bit younger than I. We also share a history in journalism. Even though Molly moved with her family (temporarily) to Oregon so that her husband could pursue an education opportunity, she continues to work as a reporter for the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Though they once lived in the same apartment building, Molly and Emilie didn’t really get to know one another on a personal basis until Molly took up the task of writing a story about Emilie’s fight with cancer (read it here) — an assignment that endeared her to Emilie, a fellow mother-writer of small kids. Molly claims three beautiful children, two daughters and a son. She is also greatly talented and possesses a genuinely Fargo/Midwest heart. I look forward to meeting her in person someday. Until then, I will happily keep tabs by reading her blog and news stories.
GIFTS IN THE RUBBLE. Author: Barbara. Barbara was another friend of Emilie’s whom I met at the crossing of life and death. In between her graduate studies in theology, Barbara keeps a blog, which she describes in this way: My story of trying to survive grad school and waiting to adopt, along with tales of love, life, healing and laughter, and discoveries of grace in the most unexpected places. When I think of Barbara, and all of the women I’ve mentioned here, I am overwhelmed how, even in death, people can gift us. I have been so privileged to get to know Barbara, and through her, have another glimpse of the person Emilie was/is. One of the most powerful outcomes of connecting with Barbara and the rest of Emilie’s circle is realizing what a treasure Emilie had in her friends, and they, in her. I love hearing Barbara’s musings, either on her blog or through our Facebook connection. And, since she, too, has North Dakota roots, and I have family and friends in her neck of the Minnesota woods, it’s not entirely improbable that we might meet for real someday as well. Whether in person or through online means, Barbara has much to offer the world, and step by step, she is finding ways to do so — no doubt with the help of her lovely friend.
RANDOM THOUGHTS OF A LUTHERAN GEEK: Author: Liz (lunargoat). This title/icon used to catch my attention every time I checked in on “Lemmondrops” and took a gander at Emilie’s blog list. And I think it’s so funny — of the followers I’ve collected on Peace Garden Mama I, several of them use animal icons. I’ve got a goat, a buffalo and a cute little doggy who “follow” me. But the goat in front of the moon has to be the most intriguing of all my “following pets.” I was so glad to see Liz’s name in the comments box on one of my posts following Emilie’s death. Our connecting was yet another moment of healing for us both, I think. Liz describes her blog this way: I’m a geek in the best sense of the word. I am passionate about books, movies, theology, philosophy, language, music, and of course, cheesy science fiction! Recently, Liz gave birth to her first child, prematurely. Recently home from the hospital, he is cute as a button, and I’m happy to help welcome Liz to the world of parenting. As an official follower of Liz’s blog, I look forward to “watching” her little guy move through his first year of life.
And there you have it — The Emilie Group! To read more of my sentiments on Emilie, go here: Grieving from the Periphery.
I’ll be back next week with the third installment of introductions.