I have a special email sub-folder which, over the years, has slowly filled with notes, comments, and feedback from one of the most special bloggers I ever encountered online.
During fits of funk and blogging boredom, a quick couple of lines might come floating in: “Dear Polimom, I was very upset to read your last post and I just wanted to send a small note of support.”
Occasionally, if we were writing about the same subject, he’d drop a comment on something I’d written — and follow up by telling me that he’d been inspired by one of mine, or he’d give a link to a story he thought I might want to write about.
Every now and again, I’d be struck by a fit of satirical whimsy, for which I always blamed him — and at which he laughed right back.
And I’m not the only person he encouraged and promoted and supported. The blogosphere is filling up today with stories much like mine.
His nom de plume was Jon Swift. Suited him well. Always, he made me smile. And if you read his blog — even if you didn’t necessarily agree with him — he probably made you smile, too. Because sometimes, it just helps to laugh at the idiocy in the world.
I’m so very sad that my special email folder is as full as it will ever get. This, posted to his blog yesterday, is crushing:
I don’t know how else to tell you all who love this blog. I am Jon Swift’s Mom and I guess I’m going to OUT him. He was Al Weisel, my beloved son. Al was on his way to his father’s funeral in VA when he suffered 2 aortic aneurysms, a leaky aortic valve and an aortic artery dissection from his heart to his pelvis. He had 3 major surgeries within 24 hours and sometime during those surgeries also suffered a severe stroke. We, his 2 sisters, his brother, his partner and his best friend since he was 9 years old were with him as he took his last breath. We have all lost a shining start who warmed our hearts, tormented us and made us laugh as he giggled at our pulling something over on us. He passed away on February 27, 2010. My beloved child will live on in so many hearts. I miss him more than I can say. If you are on Facebook, go to organizations and join “Friends of Al Weisel, Unite!” It will give you just a taste of how special he was. Farewell, Jon (Al)