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15 May 2007

An update: I just got an email from the sister of the girl whose diary I told you about.[More:]

She was a little overwhelmed, not surprisingly. I don't want to paste her entire email here, so I've edited.

Shelley died of cystic fibrosis when she was 10. She was only in the hospital for a few weeks, but was in an oxygen tent at home before that.

I was stunned that my sister/ best friend actually died, although my parents had been telling me for years that she was sick... but I didn't get how sick she was. As any older sibling does, I goaded her and teased her, regardless of her illnes. I ratted on her when she didn't take her pills... I even played tricks on her when she was in her oxygen tent while still at home before the hospital! I just had no idea she would actually DIE! She was too fabulous, witty and smart and up on all the music American Bandstand showcased to just leave this earth. I couldn't believe she was gone.. and I didn't even have the chance to tell her goodbye.

She went on to say that she had no idea that her sister had kept a diary in the hospital.

The following year, her parents adopted a boy (the birth records must be messed up, or maybe it wasn't a birth record I found) who ended up having cerebral palsey. And at about the same time, her mother got pregnant and give birth to another little girl, who also ended up having health problems. She is now this sister's caretaker.

Today I'm dealing with being the caretaker of this current sister and the impact my brother's affliction has had on her. So I had not thought about Shelley in a long time. But I miss her. I wish she were with me now and maybe that's what your contacting me is all about... maybe she is with me still. And thank God for that... I need all the help I can get in that regard.

I'm curious at what thrift store you found the diary. Please let me know. Was it about three years ago? That's when my mother died and my father and I locked up the house and all its contents and put up a For Sale sign. My mother never threw anything away, so it was too overwhelming to even go through it all. There was an estate sale and all our life long possessions must now be scattered everywhere.

But I never knew Shelley had kept a diary.

As my daughter said: "Mom, this is a big cosmic kick in the ass for you... thank this woman!"

And of course I am so thankful. I hope we meet or cross paths or continue to be in touch. You have a depth of soul that I look for in people at this stage of my life.


Thank you so much for your dedicated quest to find me. It's truly amazing to hear from you and I am grateful.

I'm a little... verklempt
That's seriously awesome.
posted by me3dia 15 May | 00:42
posted by CitrusFreak12 15 May | 00:48
I'm so glad that it was a positive thing for her. You are awesome, mudpuppie.
posted by agropyron 15 May | 00:56
posted by essexjan 15 May | 01:00
"maybe she is with me still. And thank God for that... "

Oh god.

You got lots of good Karma from this.
posted by arse_hat 15 May | 01:08
Very cool, pups. Glad this had some closure.
posted by viachicago 15 May | 01:26
Wow, mudpuppie.
That's so very wonderful.
posted by lilywing13 15 May | 01:29
That's awesome. Good on ya, mup. And good work mecha scoobies.
posted by fluffy battle kitten 15 May | 01:40

In elementary school one of my friends died from leukemia. When he was in the hospital he got letters from school, like Shelley did. His last night, he asked his parents to read them all to him.
posted by halonine 15 May | 02:54
You rule, mupps.
posted by Eideteker 15 May | 06:13
Incredible. Mudpuppie, you are one seriously cool person that I'm pleased to say I know.

What a trail of tears that family had, too.
posted by stilicho 15 May | 06:32
Amazing connection. Good deed, indeed.
posted by safetyfork 15 May | 07:03
You have a depth of soul that I look for in people at this stage of my life.

What a beautiful thing to be told. Thank you for this story.
posted by Miko 15 May | 07:31
What everybody else said: thanks for the update.
posted by misteraitch 15 May | 07:43
That's great, mudpuppie, truly great. It was clear that you were a little nervous about reaching out to this person (as we all would be, I suspect), but her reply completely justifies your belief that you were doing the right thing, in spades!
posted by Lassie 15 May | 07:43
Fantastic, 'pupp.
posted by chewatadistance 15 May | 07:43
This is great.
posted by omiewise 15 May | 07:44
Wow. I got chills just reading it. Thanks for the update mudpuppie.
posted by phoenixc 15 May | 07:51
Wow, that's awesome, pups.
posted by gaspode 15 May | 07:53
You done good, mudpuppie; real good.
posted by Hugh Janus 15 May | 08:27
I love the internet.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 15 May | 09:02
I've got tears in my eyes reading this. Oh, mudpuppie, I'm so glad you picked up the diary, and even gladder you were determined to find it's family. Just awesome. I wish we could favorite this whole story.
posted by redvixen 15 May | 09:19
+1 on the chills. This is the best of the net.
posted by Doohickie 15 May | 09:25
woah. What a story. I had missed this the first time around, I guess. Pupps you are truly the awesome.

And how sad a story, what pain some families bear...
posted by carmina 15 May | 09:31
Oh, that's wonderful, mudpuppie! Big hugs to you and Sybil.

Goosebumps and tears here. Who's hiding the tissues?
posted by deborah 15 May | 09:37
Wow. This got me for a minute. Thanks and nice work.
posted by Hellbient 15 May | 09:41
That's awesome, mudpuppie. Wow.
posted by rainbaby 15 May | 10:50
Nthing the wow. That's amazing. I'd have warm fuzzies for weeks.
posted by Fuzzbean 15 May | 11:28
I'm choked up and amazed and really impressed with pups and Sybil. And Shelley.

The following year, her parents adopted a boy (the birth records must be messed up, or maybe it wasn't a birth record I found)
When a baby is adopted, they change the official birth certificate to include the adoptive parents' names.

posted by jrossi4r 15 May | 12:13
Awwwwww. How lovely.
posted by occhiblu 15 May | 12:29
Wow. I teared up. That's unbelievably great, pup.
posted by Specklet 15 May | 13:17
This is really awesome, good for you mudpuppie.
posted by krix 15 May | 14:40
I'm so happy Sybil answered... and what a beautiful answer. I, too, got goosebumps reading that. I really, really hoped your overture wouldn't go unanswered! You two definitely must meet.
posted by taz 15 May | 15:25
Oh, splendid. Good for you.
posted by tangerine 15 May | 18:28
Wow. Just, wow. You done a good thing there.
posted by dg 16 May | 18:59
What do your dog or cat id tags say? || "Girth and Nudity, a Pictorial Mission."