Within this blogging community we find so many people we can connect with on so many levels. It can be through the content of their blog, their art, their life, their images in photo and so much more - a combination of all of it making up someone we want to know. It also crosses geographical lines as well. We may never meet these people face to face but the connections through comments, emails, gift exchanges, swaps and the like bring us closer in our connections regardless. We may never hear the sound of their voice lest we engage in phone conversation but you don't need to hear it to feel it.
Since I began blogging 6+ years ago this has happened many times and joyfully so. One such blogger is Gretel Parker. When I first "met" Gretel she lived in the Cotswolds of England with her love Andy in a small rural cottage. Through her BLOG she took us a long for walks and bicycle rides through her beloved rural countryside, shared her art and her fabulous way of describing anything. Recently she and Andy made the choice to move to the County of Shropshire and found a home they could call their own and were in the process of fixing it up. Arduously they packed up belongings and made the move to a home that most would have turned away from. But not them. They set to work. She most recently worked on getting her studio space together - she is an accomplished illustrator and needlefelter. She has written and illustrated many childrens books as well. Gretel has no immediate family but family she has in the way of friends and her beloved Andy. Sadly, and quite unexpectedly in the last few days, Andy recently died and her friend posted it for her on Facebook with Gretel by her side. I do not know the circumstances of why this happened but there must have been a great deal of despair within him. My heart breaks for her and for him, I do not judge what I do not know, no one should. They were together 21 years.
Now this leaves Gretel with not only this heartbreak but financial issues as well. Her friend Suzanne has created a fundraiser for her. A place to donate any amount to help defray living costs (and funeral costs etc) until matters are sorted. I cannot for a moment imagine facing this tragic ordeal and on top of it dealing with money issues thrown in to the whirl of grief as well. She has no family as I said. Gretel is a strong woman but even the strongest of people need help sometimes. She is definitely not one to go looking for handout, it is through the compassion and love from her friends that the fundraising was set up. I know she will be deeply grateful not only for the monetary help but words of comfort as well.
So in deference to her I am giving the link to the fundraising site.........perhaps you, too, know Gretel through her art and her blog and may want to donate regardless of amount. I don't have a lot to give but still felt it was my priviledge as someone who cares for her to do what I can in a small way. Including writing this post to help get the word out.
May we all strive to be compassionate to others without fanfare or personal acclaim for doing so. May we all strive to be compassionate because it is an integral part of our humanness to do so. Empathy and kindness holds compassion's hand as we hold the hand of another.
Thank you for reading this.
P.S. Although it has nothing to do with this post.....please read my previous post about the postponement of Our World Our Art.