Wednesday, August 09, 2006

My Friend Ronnie

I have a best friend in Canada I've never met. "Ronniecat" was one of the very first readers of Mom's Cancer on the Web and one of its greatest supporters since. She's talked it up to friends, cancer clinics, hospitals, and bookstores throughout two or three eastern provinces. She corresponded with Mom before she got too sick to write. I cited Ronnie in my book's dedications and wish I could've done more to acknowledge her friendship to my family.

Anyway, Ronnie was nice enough to mention Mom's Cancer in a recent post on her own blog, which I thought provided a nice excuse to return the favor and point it out to anyone interested. Ronnie began her blog when she suddenly went deaf at the age of 39. She wrote movingly and fascinatingly about her experience trying to find her way into the deaf community while at the same time seeking a medical solution for her condition. She eventually received a cochlear implant that restored some of her hearing and, in the months since, her writing has moved away from that topic to address anything that catches this smart, opinionated woman's attention. It's a daily stop for me.

I don't think I say "thanks" enough, so thanks, Ronnie.


ronnie said...
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ronnie said...

Let's try again, without the typos. (I think I got a little verklempt, there).

Awww, Brian! These are some of the nicest things I've ever heard anyone say about me - and I was at my wedding reception!

You underestimate - badly - what you've given me. Because of Mom's Cancer, I got the incredibly gratifying experience of learning that my family wasn't alone in their experience of coping with my very different illness. I got to learn that other people dealt with deadly serious illness through black humour, too. And most importantly, I got to get to know you better (even got some original art!), to "meet" your sisters, especially "Kid Sis" who I've gotten to know quite well through her blog -

- and I got to meet Mom.

Most people who read Mom's Cancer will finish it suffering the pang of knowing that they will never get to meet its incredible heroine. I don't have that regret - well, I will always regret I never got to meet her in the flesh, but - but - I have the emails and the Christmas card and the notes that keep a tiny piece of her great big heart here with me.

You will never, ever, ever know what my long-distance relationship with that incredible woman has meant to me. Quitting smoking after 26 years isn't the half of what getting to know her has added to my life.

So I owe you, Bud. Big time. And when that book, or the next one, eventually bring you to the Maritimes, the beer and lobster is on us.