Thursday Thankfulness: An invitation for community

Today, my heart is full of thankfulness in so many ways.

Thank you, dear readers, for allowing me to express my heart here for the past few days. Thank you for accepting my words kindly, rather than chastising me or exhorting me to do this or that. It may seem unfathomable to grieve the loss of a man I’ve never met, but here in blogland the idea is not ridiculed. Instead, here we have an outpouring of love and support in his honor.

I’m thankful for all of the Words of Basdom post a few months ago. I’m glad Bas finally agreed to let the news be public. I knew, for almost as long as I knew Bas, that he didn’t have much time left. When he allowed me to make the public announcement and give some brief details so people could be aware of his situation (why he could no longer blog or comment regularly), we saw community in action. People coming together for the sake of a man who had single-handedly transformed how we viewed spanking blogs.

What impressed me was how faithful everyone was in honoring my request for the day to be a celebration of Bas, to honor and salute him rather than to cry. In his physical real life, medical complications may have weighed him down. Here in blogland, his indomitable spirit triumphed over all.

A friend told me recently that when people are closest to death, we should listen to what they say. They have a perspective, a proximity to knowledge that we don’t have. By being who he was, Bas transformed us all.

I’m thankful that Bas, practical manager that he was, had the foresight to make final arrangements and even to leave a good-bye post for us. Had I known he was sick and suddenly not found any blog posts or emails from him…it’s hard to imagine how much more difficult it would have been.

I am thankful for PK, for Bas’ special connection to her, and that Lisa had the connection with PK to convey the news. Sad news, yes, but this way we were able to say our good-byes.

I treasure the last email Bas sent me. A short message, one too precious to share here, but one that affirmed everything we were to each other. That he was able to do so in the midst of his pain is amazing.

I am thankful for the tears, cleansing and renewing. There are many kinds of grief–unspoken, complicated, bitter, the kind that festers and wounds for the rest of a person’s life. I am thankful for “good” grief, the kind that brings together community and reminds us of who we are.

I am thankful for everyone here who has shared memories. A loved one is not so far away when others hold them in their hearts. I’m thankful for those who have emailed me with little messages or memories of Bas, telling me things I hadn’t known. He certainly got around, our Bas. How he had the time or energy, I’ll never know.

Today, I am thankful. I’m proud to have had a friend like Bas, and I’m determined to make him proud by how I live the rest of my life.

And if you are a lurker, someone new and scared to leave a comment, please know this:

Bas was like you. For four whole years, he was the timid lurker who couldn’t say boo.

Whatever your perspective, whatever your experience…you are welcome here.

Bas would wish it so.

.

(And tomorrow, I’ll show you a sneak peek of the short-story sequel to Simple Gifts. Somehow, I think it would make Bas smile.)

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Please note: my internet access is still quite limited, so replies to emails and posts may be delayed.

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31 thoughts on “Thursday Thankfulness: An invitation for community

  1. joeyred51 says:

    Ana,

    When we grieve, it is good to be surrounded by friends. You are indeed fortunate to have many friends in our community who care about you. I am very thankful today for our many friends.

    Hug,
    joey

    Like

  2. Minelle says:

    It is during difficult times when we recognize how lucky we are to have the understanding of true friendship. A community that responds to needs without having met in RL. Holding hands together in solidarity, love and celebration. Bas was- and is still able to show us what matters and to open our hearts for those treasures.
    You are indeed blest to have this gift.
    I am thankful too for so many of these friendships.

    Like

  3. jadecary says:

    Sweet post, Ana. I’ve been quietly taking it all in and enjoying everyone’s comments. Bas was one of a kind. He’ll be missed.

    Like

  4. SassyTwatter says:

    Beautiful post that brought tears to my eyes. I started of as a lurker years ago then got busy with life and started lurking agin last year. Always such inspiring blog posts you make the world seem like a better place. My thouggts are with you & Bas’s family. Sorry for being a stranger lately.

    Like

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      Have missed you, and all of Vennie and Mira’s older siblings are mad with jealousy that they haven’t gotten to go on a lovely trip–though nothing could have topped Mira’s night out. Your smiling presence here is such a gift, and I treasure it whenever you are able to come. No apologies, just welcome.

      Like

      • SassyTwatter says:

        Thank you so much for your understanding. I have missed this outlet & community. sadly feel kittle in limbo- just as I was starting life pulled me in a million different directions at once. I have enjoyed keeping up to date through the emails I get of blog posts. Many I have hoped to comment on but lack if time & sleep. Tell them not to be mad they have been taken with my everywhere on my kindle trains, plains & automobiles. Oh Evan a boat. Last weekend tried to read but the 116 degree weather mad me run for shade & my kindle very angry. Sadly only a few pages read. But hoping when I leave for fun in a few weeks ill get time to read! I hope they are ok with long plane trips & windy roads.

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  5. pao says:

    It has been a touching weekend. And I agree with Mona LIsa above, that grieving alone is so much more painful. I’m glad that there is a community here and that there is a lot of kindness even though many have not met each other. It’s amazing to see how many lives Bas has touched.

    Like

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      Grief of all kinds is painful, but the grieving alone is the hardest. Trying to live in a world where people don’t understand what has been taken away…it is hard. I’m grateful to have a place where people understand what (who) has been lost. I agree that it is amazing, but then again Bas was amazing.

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  6. terpsichore says:

    forever grateful for special friendships, old and new, and ones which are just beginning…to the gift of friendship and community I give thanks… Hugs

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  7. catrouble says:

    Very sweet post Ana.

    I am very thankful that I had the privilege of getting to know Bas…not as well as some did but I still got to enjoy his wit and wisdom.

    I am very thankful that Bas had his blog land family and his special relationships with you, PK, Rogue and a few others to help him through.

    I am very thankful that I have been accepted as a member of this blog land family.

    I am very thankful for the love, acceptance, caring and giving hearts of our blog land family.

    I am very thankful for you Ana…a very sweet and loving friend with a wonderful heart. Blog land is so very lucky to have you!

    Hugs and Blessings,
    Cat

    Like

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      I think it was he who helped us get through. Until close to the end, it sometimes was hard to remember it was ill. Though I think he wanted it that way.

      You are accepted, appreciated, and loved. Your smiles brighten many days, and your notes of laughter lighten many hearts. Blessings and hugs back to you.

      Like

  8. Roz says:

    Very sweet post Ana, thank you for sharing this.

    I am thankful for all the things you mention.

    I am so grateful to you for organising spankful for Bas day and for the special friendship you and he shared.

    I am so thankful for having had the opportunity to get to know Bas.

    I am thankful for my blog friends like yourself who knew him better than I for sharing memories, emails, comments from Bas etc that I may understand the wonderful man that he was a little better.

    It has been a tough week. Loosing Bas has taken more of a toll on me than I thought. I am thankful for the love, strength, support and comfort given to me by my wonderful man this week. I am grateful that he understands just what this community means to me and gave me space to grieve and comfort.

    I am grateful that I have all of you and how the community has come together to support each other.

    Hugs,
    Roz

    Like

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      Your list of thankfulnesses is so touching, Roz. Thank you. I’m sorry to hear it’s been a tough week. 😦 I am glad you have your husband to be there for you and support you when you need it. I am also glad you’re able to seek company and comfort in places that will nourish your soul. Much love.

      Like

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