In which she had an impact
Sometimes you meet a person who is on the periphery of your life and yet they can have the most enormous impact in such unexpected ways. Yesterday, one such person in my life died; she was 25 and honestly, I barely knew her. Right now you’re probably asking how she impacted my life then. It wasn’t for the way she died; it was for the way she lived.
Last year when times were tough around here because of Keely’s massive surgery and long recuperation, I became involved with an online group of women (and a few men) who had one thing in common. That thing was a love of a relationship in a television program. What the program was and what the relationship was isn’t actually the issue; the issue was how having one large thing in common can bond people in an unexpected way. Through joining the online community, reading the fiction that the community wrote, and discussing various and sundry aspects of the program, I became friends with people that I would never have otherwise met.
I was older than the average person in this community but what made it interesting was thinking and learning about issues from people that are outside your normal sphere of living. The community was international and the individuals involved were diverse both by geographically, socioeconomically and age wise. Eventually, I went from LiveJournal friends to Twitter friends and the people in this community actually read my blog and encouraged me to keep it up. I’m positive that without them, All Fooked Up wouldn’t be in existence.
When I first started reading Fan Fiction there were certain authors that really stood out to me and a young girl named Liz was one such person. She was writing a story that showed an AU (Alternative Universe) for the story that actually happened in the program; it was well written and compelling. Eventually, through Twitter we became acquaintances and I learned that she had a very rare and painful disease. Although she mentioned at times that she was having bad times, she was constantly upbeat and happy. I don’t even think that I knew until she died yesterday how very serious her disease was.
Once, while attempting to explain what it was like to live with chronic pain, she introduced the Spoon Theory to the rest of the group. That single article, which explained how people with chronic illnesses live, made me think in a way that I have never thought before. It was one of the single most thought provoking articles I’ve ever read and I’d like to share it with you now. Please read The Spoon Theory. I promise you won’t regret it.
Liz had a short, tough and yet incredibly brave life. She suffered from a rare genetic disease that literally affected only 120 people in the entire country of Canada. It was painful and debilitating and yet, despite all this, she plowed through each day as if it was a gift. From the late term miscarriage she suffered last year to the pain of day to day living, she was and is, and inspiration to me and the other people she touched.
Today, as I mourn a person that I barely knew, I think about how it’s the little things in life that really affect you. A push here and a shove there send you down trails you never expected to traverse. Her bravery, her joy, her writing, and her boundless optimism in the face of overwhelming odds have made me put things into perspective.
I just wanted to share her story with you because against all odds, she made a difference and honestly, how many of us can really say that?