This. This. This! Go ahead, read it, I'll wait until you're back.
Back? It's good, right? It made me think of you.
I remember when the Blog Scene was full of badass women who would circle around you when shit went down. I remember when the Internet was somehow smaller, in 2003 and 2004 when the babies were born with our blogs and our community. I remember when I was so naive as to be honest and raw on a public forum about postpartum depression and a new daughter that Would Not Ever Fucking Sleep. I remember when you understood this and gathered around with your encouragement and your own stories of non-sleeping babies and crying on the bathroom floor.
That era of innocence is gone in a sense. There is more to this community now, it's bigger and full of marketing and click bait and blogs claiming that blogging is over. It doesn't need one more blog post about blogging (Oh, the irony). What it does need is a gentle reminder that there is now an even greater need to circle together, to rally, to hold our sisters' vulnerability with care and have their back because right now, with the whole world watching, it's very much obvious nobody else will.
When we lose someone from our community, that time before The Internet Blew Up (you know, back in 2009?) we see the impact blogging has had on our lives. We remember together. We become intertwined again, for a short time, showing up for each other and looking back at photos and times of shared vulnerability. And then, as it is and will always happen, we get pulled to the present moment and shift focus to the Now. Great! YES! We should be living in the Now. That is exactly where we are supposed to be.
Which is why NOW is the perfect time to rally, circle, kick up some dirt, and stomp for your sisters. NOW is when we stand up together because We Will Not Be Put In The Corner. Now is when Anissa would say something incredibly and perfectly sarcastic while rallying us together with laughter and probably some cussing.
From Anissa's Obituary, as only she could, she tells us to rally, y'all. And she means it.
"In her memory...she would want you to live in her mission statement: to be thankful for something everyday. Do not take yourself too seriously. Make a new friend, or call an old one. Play a practical joke on someone. Laugh often. Hug your family, swear frequently and adopt an animal. Eat the desserts you love. Drive your car like you stole it. Start that new business you've been talking about forever, and, for goodness sakes, quit the job you hate. Do not wait for life to find you: live better, do better, have more fun doing it. Embrace life.
Like a true Blogging Elephant, Anissa, I promise I won't forget. You are missed but never forgotten.
** You can rally on her family's behalf by following the link on the Obituary:
In lieu of flowers, the family has asked for donations to be made to help fight pediatric cancers at the 1Voice Foundation, 123 W. Bloomingdale Ave. Brandon, FL 33511.
2011 from Anissa's Flickr Stream