You Have Been Thanked, By More Than One Person
Posted on December 11, 2008 Posted by John Scalzi 11 Comments
Vera Nazarian, the writer for whom so many of you donated after reading this story, has posted a long and fulsome appreciation to all those who have helped her, and you can find it here. If you were one of the people who gave to help her out, this is directed to you.
Also directed to you: my thanks, because as of a few minutes ago, the amount I’ve collected here has just crawled over the $3,000 mark (that’s not counting the $1,000 in matching funds Subterranean Press publisher Bill Schafer already sent her way). I’ll be mailing that to her Saturday morning. Vera has publicly given me thanks for what I’ve done, but the fact of the matter is it’s your generosity that is letting her keep her house and fix her sewer line and generally making her holidays blessed ones. So whatever thanks I’ve accrued here, I’m officially passing on to you. Well done, you, and thank you again.
You are very welcome. Merry Christmas!
I have a reputation as an arrogant cold hearted bastard to maintain here. And making me cry at work just is -not- helping that. Thanks for the chance to help.
I was glad I could help. Just wish I could have afforded more.
Are you still accepting donations?
Hey, how often do I get the chance to actually help SOLVE A PROBLEM, in a major and verifiable way, and hear a couple of days later that it worked, and everything’s better now?
Not bloody often, is the answer to that. So, thank you.
Through saturday morning at 6am eastern, yes.
Paying it forward makes me feel happy.
Many, many years ago, when rec.arts.sf.written.robert-jordan was thriving, and after I had met many of the regulars in person half a dozen times or so, I posted about a particularly shitty week I was having. Right around this time of year, in fact.
The head gaskets on the car had blown, we were short on cash to fix it, so to scrape together the cash, we had to cancel all of the Christmas layaways. Had the car waited a couple weeks, we’d have been fine, but it didn’t, so… The Monsters were still wee, so we were just going to tell them that Santa had a scheduling problem and was going to be a week late. We didn’t really have any other options – public transportation in Toledo is assarific, we needed the car fixed so Hubby – sole breadwinner at the time – could get to work timely.
The denizens of RASFWRJ told me tales of car problems they had had, offered virtual hugs and kisses and reassured me that the kids wouldn’t really be the wiser about Santa showing up late, as he’d still show up before school resumed.
Then quietly, in e-mails, behind my back, they conspired. Packages started arriving, addressed to the Monsters. No return addresses. Then gift cards for KMart. No return addresses. Then a FedEx envelope with money and a phone number in it. I called the number and it was one of my RASFWRJian friends, telling me that if we delayed presents for the Monsters because of something as stupid as money, he’d walk to Toledo and beat my ass, Merry Christmas, go buy presents for those boys. And I sat down on the floor and sobbed like a little girl. They all told me later “It really wasn’t a big deal.” And I suppose that taken in pieces – $5 here, $10 there, a book here and a gift certificate there – it wasn’t. But the effect of it certainly WAS a big deal, and I won’t ever forget it.
A little at a time, we pay it forward. Because we remember when some very kind people (now long dear friends) did something enormous and beautiful at a time when we had been laid low.
People, at the heart, are basically good. I’m very happy that this has held true for Vera.
Thanks for sharing, that’s a fantastic story to tell.
I’m so glad it worked out for Nazarian.
(Question: Did Thomas M. Disch openly ask SF fans for help when his troubles started to overwhelm him?)
Update on the situation: if anyone has some more to spare, the plumbing under Vera’s house is much worse than expected and will be more expensive, too.