Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Grateful Tuesday

I wonder if you all know how much you mean to me. I know that we are strangers, connected only by magical electronic and technical wizardry - but through this blog and your comments I feel like I've come to know several of you - to value all of you. The main reason we are moving from this house to an apartment in the city is the isolation I feel as a disabled guy - the sense of aloneness and dependance that I now have. I realized yesterday when reading comments on my blog about Eric's visit (and tearing up at your stories) that this blog has been my way of connecting with the world after I became disabled.

I began writing Chewing the Fat after talking with Belinda Burston who I've known for years and who has a personal Christian blog http://www.whateverhesays.blogspot.com/ and introduced me to the idea. She became my blog mentor and managed to put me on the path that led to this blog and our (yours and mine) relationship. I resolved to only write a blog for a year but when the year passed I found myself still getting up each morning and writing something. I became much more watchful and thoughtful in my day, waiting for blog moments. I began to see things in the world that I wouldn't have noticed before. Part of this was because of my new status as a disabled person and part of this was because I knew I would need something to write about in the morning.

Then, over time, I began looking for comments from some regulars. Wondering what they thought of a piece. Feeling like there was a bit of contact really mattered and matters to me. It's a way of being in the world, a way of having more when sometimes you feel like less. Over the last few days I've been feeling this real warmth towards you all and didn't know how to express it. Every time I tried to blog about it, I sounded weird or needy. But to hell with how I sound. I want to say, 'Thanks' ... for reading and especially for commenting.

Many blog writers respond to every comment in their comment section and, you will note, I do not. When I visit bloggers who do, I feel guilty. What with the pressures of living, working full time (and a half) and the need to make sure that we don't end up in a life with Joe sitting in one room and me in another - I have time enough for writing a blog, checking in to read comments and that's about it.

So I wondered if you all thought I didn't care, or didn't read your comments (I do, often over and over) ... Well, now you know the secret, I probably need you more than you need me.

If that makes me seem needy, well then, perhaps I am.


Mary said...

Well I get up every morning and the first thing I do is check your blog. Rarely do I post a comment mostly because I'm very time pressed with my kids who have special needs. Believe it or not, I feel guilty that I don't post a comment--seems rude to enjoy the blog without thanking the writer. So thank you Dave for getting up at the crack of dawn everyday to write a blog that gives me food for thought every day.

Susan said...

Well, the truth is, that we're all needy. At least in terms that we all need "others" to connect to - to round out our lives and to be fully human. God made us that way.

We love you too, Dave. Goes without saying. And, comment or not, your blog is one of the first things I do every day, too.

gracie1956 said...

In my experiance relationships are rarely 50/50. Frequently they are more like 70/30 or 60/40. It seems to me that the people who insist on 50/50 relationships are really into keeping score rather than being committed to the other persons needs. That approach might work in a room-mate situation, for a while anyway, but would soon destroy trust. So what if you feel that you get more out of this deal than we readers do. I don't think that makes it true just because you think that. Personally I get so much from you that I thought you were writing this blog just for me!!! LOL Seriously, I hope you keep filling my cup each day because I can then go out and fill someone elses cup. Isn't that how this deal is supposed to work?

Pat said...

Hi Dave. I have only posted one comment since I started reading your blog. However, I guarantee I get so much more from you than you get from me. I start every morning with your blog. I feel as though I know you and Joe. You are such a special person. I hope one day I will be able to see you in peson and hear one of your presentations. Thanks for all you do. I am so grateful you didn't stop after a year. Have a great day!

Belinda said...

You couldn't possibly need us more than we need you, dear friend.

You are the only person in the world who would elevate me to the lofty position of "blog princess." My knees knock at the thought! :)

You enrich our lives, make us think, treat us to scintillating wisdom and beautiful writing.

We love you.

Kei said...

Dave, your blog is one of my first stops when I turn my computer on in the morning. Many times after my hubby comes home after work, he will ask "What was Dave's blog about today?"

Never have I thought you didn't care about your readers. On the contrary~ by continuing to blog after the first year, and by trying to make sure you have a new post daily, you have let us know that you do care. I think you know we need you too.


FAB said...

Strange isn't to feel some weird cyber space connection? I've found that there is real community here though.

Humans are social animals, we were wired to need each other so we could survive. Who knew that that survival instinct would lead to something so powerful?

We are needy for you Dave, every day readers from across the globe can't wait to see Chewing the Fat, it means something. You're changing the world around you in so many ways and making it a better place than when you came into it. We are lucky that we get to read about it, and somehow be part of it.

Thank you!

Cynthia said...

Ok, you made me comment, something intimidating to do when you are such an amazing writer. But how could I not when you feel you get more from this than we do? You have become a very welcome friend, so I suppose I should introduce myself to you, too.
I am new to blogs and blogging, only since April. I feel like it is the first time in a long time that I could come up for air and connect with the rest of the world after dealing with life's complications. I discovered you and have absolutely loved reading your blog each day. I have a 7 year old and a 3 year old. My 7 year old has a few "challenges" in his life, and I have found so little (so far) about people speaking for themselves, something I want to be able to guide my son to do. Mostly parents are speaking for their children. I know you are "new" to having challenges of your own, having been an advocate before, and find your dual viewpoint very enlightening. At this point, you are my teacher in many more ways than I can list here. Thank you so much. It is very much a two way thing, needing this connection. You are an amazing story teller and have so much to share that I value. Thank you so much for sharing your life and experiences.

Colleen said...

Dear Dave:

I am relatively new to your blog. Dave you should know that you are with me in your written words frequently. I look forward to reading your blog each day - thanks for taking the time to write it. I often share your blog with my colleagues and students.

And thanks for being real and human in your writing. I suspect that it seems so natural to you to write without phoniness that you do not realize what a gift it is.

Thanks Dave and may you blog for many years yet!

theknapper said...

I am grateful for your blog. I too ck it out mostly every day.....makes me think & reflect and laugh and cry. I also love reading from your other readers & sometimes think how wonderful it would be to meet these lovely thoughtful & wise folks.
My world is better...

Shan said...

That's one of the sad things about our incredibly sad society..."needing people" is thought to be a sign of weakness.

Anonymous said...

I am a longtime blog reader... more of a blog stalker, actually, because I've never left a comment on anybody's blog, whether I know them or not. But today I really just wanted to let you know how much I love reading your blog every single day. It gives me laughter, hope, and something to think about.

As a fat person who works with people with disabilities, I love knowing that there is somebody out there who thinks the way I do. Somebody who understands why I get so angry at discrimination and hate. Somebody who watches people with disabilities, not to stare or be nosy, but just to observe.

Dave, I probably won't comment again, just because I'd rather be a stalker, I suppose. But thank you for your blog, and thank you for you. Every single day, I enjoy reading what you have to say.

luvmypeanut said...

I'm here cause I have blog envy! Pure green blog envy. I think and feel so many of the things you write about.... yet I will never get them into words like you do! So I depend on you to say those things... get the word out and I just ride along on your coat tails!

Keep it up! We all love it!!!

I bet you didn't realize you had groupies huh???? :-)

Deb said...

I started reading your blog last year because I work in the field, and have read and enjoyed many of your books. I have never commented because I haven't felt I had anything important to add to a specific topic, but on this one I can: your blogs are something I can count on each day to remind me that there is good in the world, and this is from someone who isn't getting by very well in this world otherwise. so don't be so sure that you're the needy one in this relationship. you are needed more than you can know, I'm sure by many more than you know.

Anonymous said...


To sum it up: We need you! We love you! We're so glad you're here!

I'm yet another person who checks your blog every morning. And if you haven't blogged by the time I wake up, then I check after I get to work. If you miss a day, then I miss you (and worry that you might be sick or something).

If you're "needy" then we're "needy" too. Why should there be anything wrong with just a little bit of "neediness"?

Love having your blog as part of my day,

Andrea S.

lisa6wks said...

I don't comment all the time, just when I think I have something to say that you might want to hear. But, I read your blog every day, it's something I look forward to every day. There are many times I share your entry with my husband. I wish there were more people in my life who would "get" the specialness of the things you write. It's nice to know that by being here and reading your blog, we are giving something back to you.

Thanks for letting us know.

rickismom said...

Usually I am not going to write a comment unless I think it is pertinent and worthwhile.
Many times I will go back and read other's comments later in the day.
Face it Dave-- you write a well-written, and interesting blog. People add interesting comments. It is one of the highlights of my day.
And since when is it bad to be "needy"? To be a person who lives to "take" is not good. But someone who takes in order to give is a "giver". You are certainly a "giver".

wendy said...

I start my day with your blog every day. I don't read a single other blog...not one. I started reading because I'm passionate about my work with people with developmental disabilities. Then I started finding other gems that fed my heart...about you and Joe, about animals, things that make me laugh, things that make me cry. I rarely respond. Most days I can't think of a single thing worth adding to the conversation. But I am always grateful for your thoughts.

Rosemary said...

I never doubted that you read and treasured the comments left on your blog. I never feel like my comments just go out into space. I know you are there on the other end reading and appreciating.

I hope that you and Joe find a place in Toronto soon.

Tammy said...

I think you give far more than those of us who comment could ever give back. Your blog has changed my attitude about SO many things to do with Disabilities of every kind. You've made me laugh, cry, think, and feel gratitude. You have great power with your words, and boy howdy...can you spin a yarn. :)
You have given so much to each and every one of us who have ever read your blog. You share your experiences, ideas, observations, and stories with us, and I, for one, feel like a better person just for "knowing" you. So thank you.

Cate said...

I read your blog often, but rarely comment. Thanks for writing it.

helen said...

Hi Dave, I read often, comment little, but it's interesting that the following post you say yourself that we should all
"Choose to say 'yes' to your needs every now and then. Because, after all, there is a reason they are called 'needs'."
So if you need us and our comments I get that. I write a blog with no comments and I have no sense of readership, so I constantly fizzle out. It seems only natural that writers need their readers!! :)

Anonymous said...

My husband said to me this eve, when he thought I was in need of destressing and relaxing "why don't I make you a nice cup of tea and you have a read of Chewing the Fat, coz that always makes you smile, it's interesting for you and might be just what you need". So here I am... and he was right.

Nice tea too!

Thanks to you both x


Nicole said...

You are so needed. You have no idea how many times I refer to you in conversation. Joe used to make fun of me because I would say, "I saw this on Oprah"...now it's "I read this on Dave's blog". :) Thanks for taking the time out to thank your readers. We all gain so much from your perspective and wisdom. HUGS

Gün Osborn said...

We all need each other, and it is a good thing.

three-legged dog said...

I'm not sure you know, either, what it means to me to read your blog.

We've met, but I rarely comment. Right now, commenting this much this instant is getting me out of breath.

But I want you to know it's not one-way.

Knowing you're out there is important.

Seeing the world through your eyes instead of mine is important.

I'm literally not getting enough oxygen right now. But whatever I am getting by reading your words is almost as important -- feels more important.

And this is months after you wrote it.

Be aware of that.

When you write things you are moving a moment from one place to another.

It was there, for you, two months ago. I see it -- through your words -- now. Someone else -- a year from now or longer.

And, right now, for some reason, the connections you are a part of creating seem more important than air. (Not that I plan on giving up air anytime soon, but they say we don't live on bread alone, well we don't live on air alone either.)

Thank you.