I have to admit that the last couple days have been a fog. While I've been going around reading what everyone had to say about Dewey, for the most part I haven't been able to make myself comment. This loss is so profound, and dealing with it in private has been my choice. I think we all have to cope in our own ways, don't we?
But in truth, I haven't really been grieving in private. I've spent much of the past few days talking with Nymeth. She's one of the very best friends I have in all the world. And if that alone wasn't enough to make me turn to her right now, there's the fact that she loves Dewey like I love Dewey.
Forgive me if I ramble. I didn't know how to hop back into this world of blogging. I wanted things to be normal first. But things won't be normal. Well, at least not old normal. I suppose there will be a new normal. Yeah, see what I mean about rambling. Anyway, I thought Becky's idea about a Weekly Geeks tribute to Dewey was the perfect opportunity to rejoin the blogging world.
I first met Dewey barely more than a year ago, when she announced the first read-a-thon. I was immediately drawn to her. Her humor and her intelligence both drew me in and intimidated me. For a while I faithfully read her blog, participated in the first read-a-thon, signed up for her challenges. And while even then I admired her, I didn't really get to know her beyond her blog.
The hole that is left in the book blogging community is truly monumental! Frankly, it's hard to even imagine the vastness of her absence. But to be perfectly honest, I haven't been able to quite process that aspect of it yet. Right now my grief is so focused on Dewey the person, Dewey the friend, that I can't quite make it to Dewey the community builder yet.
See, somewhere along the line, we crossed the line from "blogging buddy" to "real friend". Maybe those aren't quite the right words. I actually do count all of my blogging buddies as friends. But I'm sure most everyone can understand what I mean when I say there's a small handful of people who end up meaning the world to you. Dewey was one of those people. I don't even remember how exactly the transition began. I guess through those practical-type e-mails, you know challenges and prizes and discussions about books. And somewhere along those e-mails became more personal. Sometimes just pure fun. Like the time we talked about chocolate. Turns out we're both "chocolate snobs" (her term). Sometimes they were much more personal. Sometimes they were just plain old "this is what's going on in my world today" type e-mails. Like the one she sent last Monday...where she just talked about managing to get her turkey at "just the right time" (after they dropped the price, but before they ran out) and about how she loved hosting Thanksgiving because she loved having the leftovers.
Nymeth and I were talking about (and I sincerely hope she doesn't mind me sharing this) how Dewey is still there in our homes. Seriously, how many of us have books in our home that are there because of Dewey?!! I'm sure if I gathered up all the books I'd bought because of her recommendations and reviews, I'd fill a nice-sized shelf. Books for pleasure, books for homeschooling, books I'm giving as gifts this Christmas. Not to mention e-mails that I'd never gotten around to deleting (for which I'm now quite grateful). I even found her on my Christmas shopping list yesterday when I went out to try to finish up my shopping (it said "Dewey--some REALLY GOOD organic dark chocolate...").
Oh my. I apologize. I know I'm far from eloquent in the best of times. And well, this has been rambling and possibly even incoherent. But it is heartfelt. And I hope Becky doesn't mind that I published this before Saturday, I just felt like I had to get it out.
Finally, I know there's a true anguish on all of our parts for Dewey's family. It's hard to comprehend their loss, which is obviously so much greater than any of ours. But I hope should her husband and son ever choose to read these tributes that it will give them a good feeling witnessing through our words how much joy Dewey brought to our lives.