Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Run and Tell That

My mother - like many good church-going folks - relies heavily on prayer chains when faced with a crisis situation. I always looked at them more as gossip chains - a way to get the word passed around under the guise of concern rather than the titillation we associate with the back fence. The end result is the same - one is told; many are informed.

Social media is sort of like that, too.

Blogging, Facebook, Twitter - for someone like me who does not use any of those outlets to promote myself professionally, they can become gossipy as well. And just like the prayer chains - we tend to report 'acceptable' concerns. Cancer? Out of work? High risk pregnancy? Chat away publicly - there will be lots of support. Mentally ill? STD? Unwanted pregnancy? Better confine that to people you know and trust - you don't want that shiz getting out on anyone's chain, prayer or otherwise.

So it's somewhat controlled gossip.

My father had a stroke last week.

I didn't want to post too much about it - though it consumed me, so it leaked out little by little anyway - because I didn't want to present it as fodder for gossip. I also didn't want to use my family's crisis in a manner that might be considered to be exploitative.

But it made it to the prayer chains.

And I can't tell you how happy my mom was when people she hadn't informed came out of the woodwork to offer their support. Had they been informed via gossip? I guess. Sort of. It fits with Webster's definition. But it wasn't malicious, as we tend to believe gossip is. It was well-intended and well-received.


With no intent towards being traditionally gossipy, I will share:

My father had a stroke, and I am afraid.

Since it happened, almost a week ago now, I have wanted to say more words at times - but they've all boiled down to that.

I'm sure I will have more words in the future.

I'm not exactly the type to suffer in silence.

I don't want to be a gossip.

But neither do I want to be afraid alone.

So many people have offered their thoughts and their prayers that I can almost literally feel the support. If you had told me that that would be possible a week ago, I would've accused you of smoking crack. You can't feel good thoughts - 'sending good thoughts' is just something people say when they don't know what else to do, right? I don't know. Maybe. But I swear I can feel the collective good thoughts of relatives and friends and friends of friends...

And it really does help.

So I'm not going to try to be quiet anymore. I'm not going to try to fend off gossip. Because gossip isn't always and necessarily bad.

My father had a stroke, and I am afraid.

Pass it on.


Cheryl said...

Tammy, I am so sorry you are afraid. You are not alone ~ ever. I'm not a prayerful person and I still believe in sending butterfly wings of hope rippling through the atmosphere. Now that I know you are hurting and your dad is so ill, you & your family will be some of the folks who I think of when I wake up each morning and talk to the universe.

Eva Gallant said...

Hugs....I hope he gets better soon!

Badass Geek said...

Sorry to hear about your father. I hope he pulls through okay.

Thinking of you.

Teresa said...

Oh honey. I'm so sorry. I'll be thinking good thoughts for you and Tut and Nancy and everybody. It's ok to be afraid. But he'll be alright and then you'll be able to breathe a deep sigh of relief and be afraid no longer. Just know that I'm thinking about you and your family and anything I can do to help you, just let me know.
Love you.

5thsister said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
5thsister said...

Prayers going up. It's okay to be afraid. May you find comfort in the kind words and upon the shoulders of your friends. Because I believe in God as my higher power, I will ask Him to send abundant blessings your father's way, and His grace upon you. Let us know what we can do for you.

Anita said...

Oh Tammy, I am so very sorry. I pray, but I'm more private, only about my faith, I follow my own drummer, but about being scared, it's better to not be alone.
When you feel like you want to, share with me how your dad is doing? How soon did they realize he was having a stroke? How old is your dad? My dad has had a few light strokes, and we are lucky he has recovered. He is 86 and he has Parkinson's disease, his health is not good, but I work hard to enjoy what I can with him,when I can.
Thinking of you, and your dad. Take care.

Gibby said...

I don't think social media should just be about fluff. If we can share what we had for breakfast, then surely we can share what's really going on, can't we? It's OK to be scared, and it's OK to let people know that. It's also possible to be scared and strong at the same time. Hugs to you, Tammy! Add me to the prayer chain!

Anonymous said...

Oh Tammy. I am thinking of you and your family. I'll pray too.

Pam said...

Tammy, I'm so sorry to hear this news. I hope your father's recovery going well. Take care.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Hi Tammy, I've been away for a couple of weeks and just caught up on your posts. First and foremost, I am so very sorry to hear of your Dad's health issues. Know that I am sending you prayers and support and that my heart and arms are wrapped around you. I'd be scared too. It's all scary stuff and takes time to digest and sort out and get your head around.

I hope your Dad is doing okay and that the prognosis is positive. Hang in there. We're here for you.

xoxox jj

Sandy said...

I'm here finding out about this a little late. I hope that means that your father is doing better than when you posted. My thoughts are with your dad.