When I joined a message board several years ago it was for ideas - it was an interior decorating board on a wildly popular decorating site. I developed some friendly relationships with a few of the posters such that as we posted about decorating threads we also inquired of each others' health, family, etc. The site administrators didn't care for that. It's called "off-topic", in message board terminology. The group of us that had a hard time staying completely 100% on-topic with people we had come to care about left that message board and went to another one where we have the ability to discuss anything we please, within reason.
This new message board is still an interior decorating board. Well I say new. I guess it's been over two years since we moved to this one which by the way is phenomenal, and the best kept secret on the net (and guess whut I'm keepin' it thataway neener neener) but anyhootiepoo here's the reason for this whole backstory.
Recently we had a death in the family - on my handsome husband's side of the fambly. When you've been married twenty five almost twenty six years, in some means or manners it begins to not matter anymore which side of the fambly the death is on, it's just about all the same, but someways not. This one was hard on handsome husband because he grew up with this cousin and because the cousin was the same age as handsome husband.
It was hard on my precious mother in law because it was her brother's oldest son, and one of her first nephews. The memories from forty four years ago when that baby came grieved her and just about broke her heart. I could see it in her face when I watched her at the cemetary.
My Mother and Daddy went to the visitation. My Mama, bless her heart, has so much going on I don't know how she keeps going. Her own Mother will be 100 years old in two months, her best friend of 20 years has stage 3 breast cancer, her brother has stage four esophageal cancer that has spread to his liver and he can't handle any more chemo or radiation.
Barry's death hurt my heart deeply. He has a child the same age as my oldest. He left a loving wife that will now go on without him, be lonely and miss him deeply, miss his company, miss sitting beside him, talking with him, holding his hand, cuddling with his feet and legs in the night, winking at him, eating off of his plate, sitting beside him in church, and dreaming about growing old with him. But of course my sweet, handsome husband would never think to ask me how I was doing, over the death of someone in his family. It would never occur. And why would it? But then. Men don't comprehend that women work through death in such a very, very deeply intensely personal way.
My Mother is very caring, very nurturing. Hovering even. But with her closest loved ones in such crisis, she can't possibly remember to tie her shoelaces, much less ask me how I might "feel" about the death of a cousin in law.
My sister has her shoulder in a sling, bound to her body for six more weeks, and two young girls she can't even feed or bathe. She can't even warm fishsticks for dinner or wash her own hair. Guess who's helping HER. MY MOTHER. Think she can ask me, at this moment, Ohhhhh, hunee, how do you feel about your husband's first cousin's death??????
My friends, galpals, buds ask but we generally have kids in tow, forty things going, etc., and get interrupted twice during any given conversation by a cell phone or Blackberry. Or the guy at Starbucks yelling "Tiedye's short skinny double latte!"
So. All that to say this. The interior decorating stuff is fringe anymore, for what I have found is that this message board import has shifted, and the critical impact of it now is that there is always concern for me there. These folks are mine, they ask after me, they pay attention to me, they know and remember things about me and projects I have done and paint colors I have used and pieces of furniture I have and headboards I have inherited and what pieces of furniture of THEIRS I love and lust after.
You have the ability to concentrate more when you converse on a computer, it's true, but there are still (most, I'd say) message boards that are lacking the compassion and human signature that ours has.