Also, OWED to CWC6161
BrainRants was the first blog I found. When I began infesting it with my random comments, it was from the commenters, rather than his blogroll, that I found and chose other bloggers’ posts to read. One of the first, and the nicest, was a lovely lady named Candice W. Coghill. Her blog I.D. is her initials, along with, what I believe is/was her age, twice.
Feeling that only grumpy old male dudes like me were curmudgeons, she wrote under the blog-name, The Kindly Hermudgeon, a softer, kinder, gentler female version. I was impressed with, and attracted by her comments, and apparently she felt the same about me and mine. When I got my own site up and running she was a regular reader/commenter, and one of my earliest followers. It was she who reminded me to add a “Follow Me” widget.
I commented often on her site, which at that time, was largely about her personal life. That first November, before I was “On The Net”, she participated in the NaNoWriMo, pumping out 2000 words a day for three weeks, and using the final week for editing and polishing. I offered to refrain from distracting her, but she assured me that my online presence was welcome. She was the first to send me a blog award, when I’d only published 14 posts.
As a long-term loner, I often have to work at accepting others as friends. Such was not the case with The Hermudgeon. She was intelligent, knowledgeable, literate, friendly, welcoming, supportive….the list goes on and on. We were instant friends. Despite being a couple of years younger than me, she was almost a web-mother to me, or a loving, caring sister, so unlike the psychotic minefield I shared ancestry with.
She lived in a little Atlantic coastal Florida town which shares my Scottish clan name. I used Google Maps satellite view to see her frame house on a small inland bay. I told her of passing almost within stone’s-throw distance as I had driven down to Key West. I mentioned a central character in a book I was reading, who was recruited from her tiny town. I told her of finding another Florida woman, half her age, with exactly the same name, a pill-dispensing medical worker, who liked to be called Candy Popper. Not impressed with that name, she denied being related.
She was very dedicated to becoming a published author and helped many others in their quest. Later posts were writing tips and tutorials, knitting-circle-type meetings, and real-time addresses from writers who had made it. This woman was just Industrial Strength support and help to all she could reach.
Sadly, she had developed inoperable abdominal cancer behind her navel. Many of her later posts told of radiation treatment and chemotherapy, which were provided by a mobile clinic, housed in a medium-sized jet airplane. This aircraft flew from city to city, with a rotating schedule. She got to know the doctor in charge, the nurses, and the flight crew.
She told of their care and concern, and how she had trouble working for two or three days after a treatment, because of weakness and disorientation. She wrote of Doc Magic feeling that things were under control….but then of the ogre rearing its ugly head once more.
Because her blog had become about commercial writing and being published, I didn’t drop in as often as I had early on, but still stopped by occasionally, with a Like, a short comment and a word of support and hope. Just about a year ago, on July 11, 2012, her posts suddenly stopped. I dropped in every couple of days, then once a week, then twice a month – nothing.
I did a search, and found a mostly-English blog-site in France, and thought she’d moved, possibly for medical reasons. When I paid a bit of attention, I realized that it was stagnant, with posts and comments a year and a half old. Questions to some of her other regulars revealed that no-one had any information on where she had gone, or what had happened to her.
She was a fighter, and she treated me far better than I deserved. I can only hope that she simply doesn’t have the time and strength to spare for blogging. On March 20 of this year, I accessed her final post, and left the comment, “Goodbye sweet Angel. You will be greatly missed!” My daughter, LadyRyl, also got to know and like her very much. She joins me to worry and wonder, to fear the worst, hope for the best, and miss this fine lady very much. I checked her site again before publishing this tribute. What may forever remain the final comment, is still, “Awaiting moderation.”