Steven S. Wallace had a stroke
Steven S. Wallace (a pseudonym) is a lovely person many of us have had the pleasure of meeting here in the blogosphere. He has been one of our regular W3 poetry prompt participants and has served as host for W3 on several ocassions, including last week.
Last night, I emailed Steven to remind him to select a new W3 PoW (“Poet of the Week”) for this week, and he wrote back:
David- I can’t do this. I’ve had a stroke. Maybe some day I can. But I’m disabled right now. I give all my power.
I’m really sorry. Pray for me. Please.
To say that I was shocked by Steven’s email would be putting it lightly – this is not the sort of note one ever expects to get from someone he assumes to be in good health.
Should I be writing this?
Why am I sharing this?
As many of you know, I have an aunt who is very sick with stage 4 cancer; and she’s not doing well. One of the things I’ve discussed with her is how some people’s visits to the sick leave her feeling that they’re only visiting to assuage their guilt… Or, at least, that regardless of their exact motivations, they’re visiting for their own sakes, rather than for hers.
It gladdens me to know that my aunt does not put me in this category, and I wouldn’t ever want to be in this category for anyone.
Still, I cannot say that I am writing this blog post entirely for Steven’s sake; to a large extent, I’m sharing this because I don’t know what else to do with my concern for him; and I feel the need to do something.
Is that a good enough reason to share this? Probably not.
Do I have the right to share this?
I very seriously considered whether or not I should write this blog post. Steven’s story is not mine – do I have the right to share his?
To be honest, I don’t really know the answer to this question, but I took into account the fact that Steven writes under a pseudonym – so nobody in our blogosphere knows his true identity.
Also, Steven asked me to pray for him; and I assume that other people’s additional prayers (or, as in my case, positive thoughts) wouldn’t hurt.
Does “online community” mean anything?
Then, I thought, does the concept of “online community” actually mean anything? Because- if it does, then I think it’s right to let you know about Steven’s stroke in this public, online forum.
After all, this is the only way the vast majority of us interact with one another. Our interactions with one another on our blogs are literally the entire substance of our relationships. So, if one regularly interacts with Steven online, and he unexpectedly disappears from WordPress, one would likely be concerned, right?
And- if I suddenly had a stroke, I would want my online friends to know about it… Not because I would want their prayers (I don’t believe prayers make any metaphysical difference), but simply because I have formed relationships with many fellow bloggers; and this would be a major, life-changing event in my life that would, to some great extent at least, shape my identity.
Well, now it’s out there
Perhaps I’m doing the wrong thing by sharing this information with you, but I’ve at least justified this decision to myself- for better or worse. And, yes, I know that I’ve self-centeredly made this blog post entirely about myself, rather than about Steven. I’m such a mensch (sarcasm intended).
Nevertheless, regardless of the flawed vessel bringing this information to you, I believe that some among you also care about Steven and would want to know that something horrible just happened to him… And I believe that he would want you guys to know.
If you’re the praying sort, now’s a good time for that.