A Good Home, Clematis, Courage, Friendship

Life Changes

Blog Photo - Blue-Pink clems

I’m praying for two women I’ve never met in person.

They are in my blogging community. One in Southern Africa, one in the United States. Each was bereaved recently.  

I’m also praying for a blogger and his beloved wife in England. She has been undergoing cancer treatments.

Some people may be surprised that we care so much when another blogger hurts. But we do, especially when someone has a health scare or experiences a loss. 


Blog Photo - Garden rain cu of lavender blue clematis

Through blogging, we get to know each other’s stories. We read about each other’s lives, families, dreams, disappointments, and triumphs.

We rejoice over the good times: a daughter passes her exams; a parent’s health improves; a husband gets a better job.

So why wouldn’t we also hope and/or pray that a blogger – or a spouse – will triumph over a serious illness? 

Blog Photo - BLue clems and Salvia

Why wouldn’t we feel a terrible sadness when the husband of a blogger-friend dies suddenly?

Bloggers know that life changes when we least expect it. That the challenge is to learn, accept, adapt. Which is so easy to say, and so hard to do. 

Blog Photo - Blue clematis2


There is such pain in the world.

But also, such hope. Such kindness.

And such courage.

We see that every day in each other’s blog posts.

And we know that, sometimes, just taking the next step is an act of courage.

Dedicated to the persons mentioned in this post, and to all who currently feel buffeted by life’s strong winds. All these flowers are for you.

Blog Photo - Pink Clematis

Photos by Hamlin Grange

95 thoughts on “Life Changes”

  1. A beautiful, thoughtful post, and such gorgeous flowers, Cynthia! It is wonderful how people who have never met can care for other members of their community. Sending prayers, good thoughts, peace and love to all. 🙂

  2. Amen. I agree with every word you say. Many bloggers, myself included, definitely feel a connection with our fellow bloggers. All the very best.

  3. Those flowers are just perfect. There is such beauty in them. Especially with the droplets.

    I am sending my best wishes for your blogging friends. I know from experience how we feel when a blogging friend is poorly or someone close to them dies.

  4. You are right, and it is something I have wondered at, this caring for people we have never met, but who have shared their thoughts, hopes and fears with us. Beautiful flowers are comforting and reviving – a lovely post.

    1. Thank you, Hilary, for taking time to reply, even as you prepare for your own book launches. And this is a perfect example: you’re far away in the UK, and I’m here cheering you on, from my home here in Ontario, knowing how important this time is for you and the book. I don’t have to meet you in person to know how hard you’ve worked and how much you deserve success. My best wishes!

    1. Thank you, Julie. Hope the important things in life are going well for you and your family. Today I held the first copy of my new book in my hands. A strange feeling, after everything. Y’know?

  5. Cynthia, It is so hard to describe caring about someone even if you haven’t met them. Your post did a wonderful job describing that caring. I am doing a seven week kindness challenge. This week’s challenge is to observe kindness all around me. Your blog has started that day of with observing kindness.

  6. You’re right, Cynthia, as I’ve come to expect! The friends we make through blogging are not “virtual” friends but every bit as real as our face-to-face friends. You make these points so well!

    1. Aha! I like that, Kerry.Your idea that the friends we make through blogging are not “virtual” friends but every bit as real as our face-to-face friends. That is what it amounts to, yes.

  7. I care just as much about blog friends as I do “real” friends…sometimes more, even! It is hard for non-bloggers to understand the deep connections that can be made through our sharing of everyday life, triumphs, failures. Blogging friends *are* “real” friends, at least to me! ❤

  8. Yes, I know just what you mean, Cynthia. I love and care about my blog friends just the way that you do.

  9. When I began blogging (niceonenana.com) six years ago, I had no idea what I was doing, nor did I know that I would “meet” so many creative, thoughtful, funny and encouraging people online. We watch each other’s lives unfold in a unique way – geographically from a distance and emotionally very near. T

    1. I like the way you phrase that — “We watch each other’s lives unfold in a unique way – geographically from a distance and emotionally very near.”
      Yes, indeed, Diane.

  10. This true caring and love of friends we have never met….it’s a new phenomenon. Maybe it will be better understood in the future, but for now it is a mystery, and a beautiful one.

  11. Such a beautifully thoughtful post, Cynthia. When I first started blogging, I never imagined I would care so much about the lives and losses of my blogging family but I do. I was particularly affected by the loss sustained by our friend in S.A. It is a joyous thing to offer and receive this marvellous support.

  12. Thank you Cynthia! You have such a wonderful way of understanding and connecting heart-to-heart! Many people, known and unknown, are being “buffeted by life’s strong winds”. Knowing that others truly care helps us all along the path of healing and positive transformation.

  13. Thanks for sharing this love note. I absolutely agree, bloggers’ relationships are far from being as virtual as people who are not familiar with this kind of communication option would judge.

    1. It is surprising. I read the responses yesterday and discussed with my husband that this is a meaningful topic which we bloggers all seem to have experience with.

      1. Oh YES
        We spend so much time… choosing a blog theme, getting the technical skills, taking pictures, arranging pictures, writing something, finding topics, scenes, ideas again and again… to eventually learn that people stop reading blogs and prefer to click the same pictures over and over on intagram….;;;arrrgh;)
        I am flabbergasted when I hear that blogging is a ‘superficial’ egotistic hobby…
        Shout-out: WE ARE TRYING TO COMMUNICATE and it is wonderful to be seen and heard on the other side of the planet, I love it ;)) ♥♥♥♥

      2. Well said!! Also, this additional comment: your posts are beautifully pictorial. It feels like I am there at your cottage with you. So I get a beautiful, interesting blog post and Instagram/Pinterest all in one!! Thank you. (At the same time, I think these other platforms are not a replacement, but a good addition to blogs.)

  14. I think one of the worst things a blogger can do is just disappear without some form of explanation or goodbye. Even an “I’m all done” would be better than nothing and precisely why you’ve just explained; we worry and care about each other. I don’t know how many I’ve seen disappear and never come back, and I still wonder if they’re okay.

    1. I feel the same Allen. If only I could find out if they’re okay. There is one person in particular who went *missing* this time last year who worries me exceedingly.

      1. Thank-you. I’ve tried e-mailing and I’ve messaged them on Facebook and I know that there are a number of other people worried about this person too. I hope I find out eventually.

    2. Yes, the disappearance is very weird. Especially when the blog suddenly no longer exists – that makes it even more worrisome. So there you have it, Allen: don’t ever take off on us! (smile)

  15. Such a thoughtful post Cynthia. My prayers are with your bereaved and worried friends. I never thought that I could become so attached to people I have never met but my blogging friends have become part of my life now.

      1. I have been thinking a lot about your post today and about the comfort communities give us. Our families, our churches/temples/synagogues etc and our work-places are a few I can think of. If we are fortunate we can find someone with whom we can share our worries, our joys, our likes and dislikes. I love to be on my own and find being with other people all the time extremely tiring, but to be alone and lonely with no-one at all to share the good and bad events with (and it’s mainly bad when you are lonely) must be so difficult.

  16. `Bloggers know that life changes when we least expect it. That the challenge is to learn, accept, adapt´ …

    That`s so beautiful dear Cynthia…
    You are quite right… I firmly believe in thed power of virtuality, as I have many friends I have met online… Even if it is not a deep relationship, we tend to well very connected to certain people…
    I wish your virtual friends good luck along the process…
    I send you love and best wishes. Aquileana 💫✨🌟

    1. Thank you, Tina. I also want to share with you that today I held a copy of my new book in my hands for the first time. It was very moving. I still don’t believe that I was able to finally complete one book (I’d been writing the first one for 25 years) and then write a whole new book, mostly from my journal! Hooray!!

  17. The flowers are beautiful, Cynthia. I was very upset when one of my blogger friends died of cancer over a year ago. She stopped blogging and I kept googling her name to see if she was okay and then one day someone announced her death on her blog. It really affected me and I was sad for a long time even though I had never met her in person 😦

    This is a beautiful and very supportive community xxxx

  18. You’re right Cynthia. If we didn’t care about our connections, why would we keep blogging? I still feel sad for bloggers who are silent now, but their blogs keep their memories alive.

      1. I had a pen pal in England and one in France. Every so often, I still wonder what became of them. They were both such lovely pen pals, and one even gave me the name for our family’s new puppy.

      2. so here’s the problem: I can remember the guy’s name and googled him once with no luck. I cannot remember the girl’s name, which is awful as we were close pen pals. Her father worked with the petroleum company and was once posted in Trinidad, (she lived there for a while as well, I think), and that’s why her pet dog was “Petrol”. So, crazily, I talked my family into naming our dog Petrol too!

  19. Your photos and words are beautiful offerings to those in need, and a reminder that yes, we become friends in this blogging world. And we’re there for each other in thought, word and deed.

  20. A blogger whom I have corresponded with for the past 4 years, and whom I had the privelege to meet in-person once, had not posted since January. I had wondered whether his favorite topic (politics) was just too ludicrous or painful this round (in the USA). His wife recently posted on his blog that he had been ill for several months, then died. Your raise a good question and make astute observations about our virtual worlds.

    1. I think this is what some of us fear when a blogger is out of touch. I have sent email to some bloggers, for that very reason. Some bloggers have also politely emailed me to check in during the times when I have been “offline”.

  21. Strong winds come and go. We need the care and prayers of those are close to us to anchor us through the buffeting. Sending prayers and good thoughts to those you have brought closer to us.

  22. Lovely post. Dunno why but it made me think of this Houseman poem. Whenever times are tough and I feel shitty, I read this, and it makes me feel a bit better:

    ‘On Wenlock Edge the wood’s in trouble;
    His forest fleece the Wrekin heaves;
    The gale, it plies the saplings double,
    And thick on Severn snow the leaves.

    ‘Twould blow like this through holt and hanger
    When Uricon the city stood:
    ‘Tis the old wind in the old anger,
    But then it threshed another wood.

    Then, ’twas before my time, the Roman
    At yonder heaving hill would stare:
    The blood that warms an English yeoman,
    The thoughts that hurt him, they were there.

    There, like the wind through woods in riot,
    Through him the gale of life blew high;
    The tree of man was never quiet:
    Then ’twas the Roman, now ’tis I.

    The gale, it plies the saplings double,
    It blows so hard, ’twill soon be gone:
    To-day the Roman and his trouble
    Are ashes under Uricon.’

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