Have you ever happened on a blog, through a blog of a blog? I was reading a blog one day and there was a comment from someone who had an interesting user name. So, I clicked his link and started to read his blog. Which brought me to his brother’s blog, which I became totally engulfed, engrossed and every other en-thing. The thing is-it was so personal, all connected to family (all comments were from family and seemed to be the way they stayed in touch) and his life was literally, an open book. I felt like I wasn’t supposed to be reading it. Like finding your sister’s diary and opening it up and then slamming it closed. Except I didn’t slam. I kept on reading and ended up falling in love with the family. Proud pictures of mom’s smiling down on kids, footballs and team apparel worn proudly, wedding shots, silly photos, their life.
This family is a large mid-west fam with lots of patriotic pride. They rode in the Patriot Guard. These Guard are some of the most amazing people we have in this country. They ride their motorcycles to funerals of fallen soldiers to prevent and block those insane protestors that show up at funerals and memorials to shout their thoughts about politics and war at families that are saying goodbye to their loved ones. The Patriot Guard are a wall that separates the crazies from the funeral service. The more I read about the guard, the more I wished me and Big C had motorcycles so we could join. I doubt if I could ride anymore, but I would ride on the back of C’s. It would be an honor to be able to do such a wonderful, and sadly, such a needed thing.
So, I’m reading and reading. I haven’t been engulfed in a blog like this since I can’t remember when. Then a brother dies. There are 5 brothers I think. And the blog writer is devastated of course. There are smiling family photos of all of the brothers together. Lot’s of red,white, and blue. They are the epitome of the All-American Family. Shots of family dinners. American flags, bowling trophies, kids playing with big toothy grins, brother’s hugging, husbands and wives smiling to the camera. Then, his wife gets cancer. She fights and fights and ultimately it takes her. He is crushed. They have been together for years and she is his everything. He gets into a motorcycle accident and loses some brain function. He has to go to rehab. Physical and cognitive rehab. He is not the same person anymore. His family take over the blog and write updates about him. He goes from being a husband, father, Patriot, to someone who has some brain damage and isn’t the same. He finally gets to get his own little apartment and can start doing some things for himself. He starts posting a little bit, I don’t know him but I feel that I do and I cry and cry. While he was in the hospital and the rehab, his family posted about his triumphs and pitfalls. It is all there to see and I know he must have read it before picking up and trying to keep on blogging. Life is looking up for him, but his memories of the way life was when his brother and wife were alive are overwhelming for him. He will never be the same.
I can’t take it. I’m crying and I don’t understand why life can just turn on a dime like that. Then-one of his brothers, who is also a guard, leaves their mid-west home state and up and moves to California. To the shock and dismay of everyone in the family. They are extremely close-knit, and probably no one has moved out and on. He has his own blog, and most of it is written while he is drunk, but he is an amazing writer. It’s like reading a book, you can’t put down. He revels in his misery, and is really quite funny in the way that he sees his new life, in a big city, he is wit and charm and drunken sarcasm. He is on a purposeful course of self-destruction. But, he is so strong. I don’t think he can let himself destruct. He will stop drinking.
I know that this is all on the internet. I know that it’s out there for all to see. I still feel like I stepped right into the middle of their family tragedies and grief, like an invisible spectator. Weird. When California brother gets a comment from his ex wife and he is surprised that she wrote, he drunkenly responds and then tells readers not to read the next post. And I didn’t.
I haven’t been back for a while. It still feels weird to me to read their lives. It’s too fresh, the pain is so vivid, and personal. The whole reason this came to my mind this morning happened because I was typing something into the URL box and it picked up the first few letters of this blog and the title was hilarious and I clicked it. It is the second blog of the Cali brother and I started to read again and had to shut it down. I can’t read anymore of it. I really want to know how the brother who had the motorcycle accident is doing. I just can’t go back. This family that doesn’t know me, but I feel that I know them; I pray for them. If I could do something that would give them peace I would. Prayers is all I can do and I know that God listens. He has proven that to me.
Have you ever found yourself reading a blog that made you feel as if you were an intruder into someone’s personal family business? Did you bookmark it (like I did) and come back and read more? Just curious. It brings back the question, why do we blog? To keep in touch with family and friends, to vent, to advocate, to reach out to people, loneliness, to make money? I’m sure there are a million reasons why we do. I don’t ever want to stop blogging. At times I’m absent and it’s all I can do to sit up and I’m thinking about this blog. I can’t let it end. Why? I really don’t have the answer.
Enjoy today, you never know what tomorrow brings, joy or sorrow. It’s all in the cards for us. I’m going to keep writing. It may not be good, but it’s my life.
Have a good Saturday before the 4th everyone. Have a safe Independence Day. Like I tell my kids (their grown now, I still call em kids) I thank God every day that I was born in this country. It is the Land of the Free. I am so incredibly lucky
Until next time,