Sunday, November 05, 2006

One Blogger Posts From Life and Death Struggle

However icy or "soggy-bottomed" your heart and soul might be, I dare you to take a few minutes and walk into the world of an East Tennessee blogger who has been posting about something amazing and terrifying - his 29-year-old wife's life and death struggle in the hospital, and his effort to somehow grasp what is happening and what might happen.

The events which have taken place over the course of a few days to blogger Atomic Tumor and his wife, who goes by the name Golden Apple Corp, will dwarf most any problem you have been having. To say it briefly, GAC became ill for some unknown reason and has remained critically ill. She remains so this morning. Many other bloggers in the state have already mentioned this, asking for your best thoughts and prayers and hopes.

I'll happily add my voice to theirs.

Even though AT and GAC and I have never met face to face, we are fine friends - that's what happens when you begin to make daily contact with someone who writes online about themselves and their thoughts. I may only visit online, but I stop there more than once a day, I add my comments, and I discover the world through the eyes of another person.

I know the pain and the worry and the fear devour whole galaxies of thought and emotion for families whose members fill hospitals across the world. These Oak Ridge folks are most fortunate they have many members of family and friends to help them now. But I also know it doesn't seem like Fortune is being their ally at this time.

It takes some kind of unknown ability to do what AT has been doing - not just the minute to minute and hour to hour courage to cope with a critical illness which has ravaged the one he loves - but to write about it so openly, so honestly and with such joy and pain, I know that takes something truly unique.

I've had to deal with it myself recently and here's what I learned: pouring your hurts into an online blog is beyond difficult. To do it at all, much less to do it well, that takes great strength.

You can begin the storyline here - from taking her to the hospital to AT's most recent post. I hope you take the time to read all of the posts of this dire event. That you meet them and their friends at Team AT - Bosphorus, Mrs. Eaves, and many others like me who stop and visit there.

What is being shared is rare and powerful and will take you straight into this struggle. You cannot emerge untouched. You'll meet some amazing people, and adding your hopes can only help.

A few excerpts from a variety of posts:

She'’s responding again. She hasn'’t opened her eyes, but she squeezed my hand. She raised her eyebrows. She got onto me for self depreciating humor.

I no longer have any doubt that she'’s in there communicating with me. Well, not that I did, based on the last post, but things like this are so hard. I don'’t like not understanding things, and the world that she is in now I don'’t understand.

I hate to leave her. I hate to see her that way. God, I love her."
"I want to tell you guys stories about her, about GAC, but I can'’t think of any. I want to say something that will touch you, something that will make you think of the person in your life, and how things happen out of nowhere, how tennis turns into praying for your wife'’s heathen soul to be allowed into heaven, because I can'’t bear the idea of being separated from her, and because I was sure that her end was imminent.

Guys, this is hard. I'’m too drained to think of any of these stories, and I really want to. I want to for myself.

And I want to cuddle her. I want to breath in the scent of her hair. I want to kiss the back of her neck, and tickle the tiny hairs back there. I want to rub her feet. I want to hear her voice."
"At night, if GAC is sick, it gets a little worse. I hear thats normal, to some extent. Maybe the pull of the sun does something to our cells. I was outside earlier, looking at the sky, and the stars, and the significant things, and thinking about the cells in her body. Thinking about the world in her head. A world bigger than the sun, and the stars.

Somebody once told me that Stephen Hawking said that he believed when you die, you become as a god, because the energy that consciousness is turns inward, or something like that. Maybe it was that because of the whole matter/energy thing. I don'’t remember.

How many days can be like today? How many people go through this, silently, in the next car. When the world is normal, and you'’re worried about getting to work on time, or realized you forgot a dental appointment, or just mad at your wife for something stupid that you don'’t remember, how many people around you are feeling this?"

"At night, when everybody else is asleep, I'’m going to let the gravity of this hit me, and I'’ll write posts like I did. Tonight I want to tell you how we met. I have a lot of stories, and I want to share them, if you'’ll listen. Or if not, don'’t really matter. I like writing.

Ironically, writing is easy. A few weeks ago I was in a bit of a funk, and couldn'’t write much. Now I can'’t stop my fingers."

"Thanks for being there. I can feel you, peering through the 1s and 0s into my grief and my terror.

GAC will read this, right?"

Again, I hope you take some time to read all of his posts and the comments from around the Web.

I hope most of all that GAC gets all her health and strength back soon, that she is in the arms of the man who loves her, surrounded by her children and her family and friends who value her above all the wealth in the world.

UPDATE: The latest post for this Monday morning is here. AT updates often , so please add your hopes and prayers just as often.


  1. All of the petty bullshit I've gone through recently means nothing compared to what these two are going through. It really puts things into perspective.
    I hope she gets better.
    And it really is a testament to love.

  2. Awesome post, Joe. I've added you to the Prayer Circle. I hope you can join us at the UT Arboretum this afternoon around 3:30 ... this intarweb thingy only goes so far in human connectedness.

  3. thanks for the invite, Lisa ...

    sadly i can't make it, but i do hope to spend some real-time with AT and GAC as soon as possible. please give their family my best.

  4. Joe, Thanks so much for this beautiful post. Your kind words and encouragement are greatly appreciated.

  5. Thank you for the insightful background on the story. What a horrific thing for a couple to have to go thru..
    Sending many prayers & positive thoughts their way.

  6. Anonymous5:01 PM

    What a wonderful post.