Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Social Media Brings People Together

I wrote this post for my business blog and then realized I should share it here too. 

Something happened this week that really has me reeling. A wonderful woman I've never met lost her battle with cancer. I read the first posting of her passing and began to cry. An hour later and I'm still welling up thinking of her, her struggles and her family left behind.
Katie Emmerson Renz and I only barely knew each other through our mutual acquaintances in the stamping world and on Facebook. While we never actually met, we shared many things--a love of stamping, cardmaking and crafting is just how we "met." Like me, Katie was a mother to a young family. I think that is why her death has hit me so hard. I can't help but worry about her young boys and think about how they will have to grow up without this wonderful, amazing and strong mother in their life.
The fact that her death has touched me brings a whole new understanding of the impact social media has on our lives. Here I am honestly and truly upset by the death of someone I only knew through her blog and on Facebook. HOW is that possible? I don't even know if we ever even had a typed conversation between us! Like hundreds of other e-friends, I followed Katie's battle with cancer on her blog where she wrote the most incredible posts--some uplifting and some heartbreaking. Her husband Kevin posted when Katie was no longer able to, keeping us all up-to-date on her struggle. Her last, unfinished post was finally posted after her death, but even in that post you can hear a glimmer of hope. Even though I didn't meet Katie, through her blog I feel like we've known each other forever. That is the power of social media.
I've said for a long time that "most of my friends live in my computer" and this just proves my point. Through my hobby I have developed a far-reaching network of friends. These people live everywhere from Croatia to Hawaii, from England to Texas, and there's even a few in Canada. I "don't know" more of my own friends than I do know! But I still consider some of those people close friends. They know just as much about my life as my "real" friends here in Halifax, thanks to Facebook, Twitter and SplitcoastStampers.com (where I met most of them in the first place). What an age we are living in! Enjoy it. Absorb it. Live it.
Rest in Peace Katie, my dear e-friend.


Theresa said...

Your post, today, brought tears to my eyes. I already knew that she has passed. I have been following her blog, but as I go through my blogs today, I have not clicked on her blog. Not yet. Other than our common interest in stamping, I am not sure why I signed up to follow. Maybe it was curiosity to see how she would deal with her illness or maybe it was because I have lost so many important people in my life to cancer...my mom, my son-in-law, my beautiful 13 year old niece, and several friends. Right now I have a young friend who has a 3 to 4 month time limit on her life. She will be leaving a devoted husband and two young children but she is facing this with such dignity and courage. It humbles me.
Thank you for your post today.
It is a beautiful tribute to Katie.

Marlene said...

I'd been following Katie's blog for a long time, and she touched so many people. She was an inspiration to all of us. I didn't really "know" her either....just like you - through blogging, the card-making industry, and through playing a few competitive games on facebook. (I know she was pretty good at Zuma Blitz, as I always had some great competition there.)

She really did touch a lot of us deeply with her battle with cancer. Like you, I cried yesterday when I heard she had passed away.

Ive_Boricua_Girl said...

You are right.. this are our friend even when we never had talk.. the e-friends.

I been following Katie also and admired how strong she was when she was able to write about her treatments and progress.. I have a sister in law also fighting cancer and wish she was a KATHIE EMMERSON RENZ... a big time fighter with lots of courage ...

Im still crying for the women that I only knew from her writing.. so sad..

Bless her family.

I vette