Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Unpleasant Surprises

While I was doing a bit of recordkeeping the other day, I went back to visit my old blog site. As I was reviewing some of my old posts, I stopped to read the comments. I don't know about you, but people have a tendency to pop in and out of my life for a variety of reasons. I've met some lovely people who were kind enough to leave me comments and encourage me on my writing journey. (Special shout out to Mary in Green Bay - I miss you!)

I migrated the old blog about 11 years ago to here, which was also close to the time I joined Facebook. When I moved, I guess I didn't pay attention to the fact one of my regular commentors had stopped commenting - she hadn't made the move with me. That happens sometimes, and according to some of my blog posts, that was when I made a major move at the day job that actually took me away from my writing for a while. We didn't have all the social media and easy ways to connect with people at the time. Long story short, looking back on the old posts I thought it would be good to reconnect with her now. I was NOT prepared for what I found.

Marsha Brantley was another author, and I can't even look up what she wrote anymore, because around the time my blog migrated she disappeared. Not just from commenting--off the face of the earth. She has been a missing person for 11 years. I watched a 48 Hours Mystery presentation called "Missing Marsha" because the last comment she posted for me was just a couple of months before she disappeared. Her comment? "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger."

I didn't know Marsha in the "real" world, but you do get a feel for people you interact with in the virtual world. There are several authors I've never met in person, people I communicate with regularly who are always ready to lend a hand or reach out when things get tough. We don't hesitate to exchange phone numbers or chat online. Some I've connected with "in person" and we've maintained a friendship for a number of years. The rest fall into the realm of "work friends," but they're friends nonetheless. This is one of those instances of "if I only knew..." I certainly would have reached out to her to extend a helping hand and maybe, just maybe, she could have escaped the situation that resulted in her going missing. Then again, maybe she didn't know what was coming. The possibility that she is still out there somewhere is pretty slim, especially after all these years.

So here's my PSA for the day. If something in your life isn't right, reach out to your family, your friends, a healthcare professional. Even to an online acquaintance if that's the only place you feel comfortable. Reach out to *someone.* You'd be surprised by the number of people whose lives you touch and who care about you.


  1. So sad. And good advice to reach out. You never know when a simple act can make a big difference. (And a much better use of social media than what it's like now.)