April 10, 2010
I recently participated in the TwoThreeSixFive blog project. Here is my entry.
I’ve been thinking about what I wanted to write for this blog post. I guess I could have talked about all the things I’ve gained from SL. But instead, I want to dedicate this entry to a friend who I miss very much, and who should be remembered.
Juanito was Keeme’s (my partner) uncle- but as he was only two years older and they grew up together, they were best friends. When they were in their teens, Juanito was in a very bad car accident that left him a quadriplegic. Keeme told me how he’d hide out in Juanito’s hospital room after visiting hours, and they’d stay up talking well into the night, but Keeme would not leave his side.
Early last year, Keeme was able to buy a laptop for Juanito that would run SL, and sent it to him at the hospital where he lived. Juanito had spent the majority of his life in a hospital bed, and Keeme wanted him to experience the freedom SL could give him, as well as the social benefits of being able to meet and hang out with his friends. I was excited to meet Juanito, because I had heard so many stories about him from Keeme. It was clear how much Keeme loved and respected him. When Juanito was able to start logging in, Keeme and I were there to guide him along. Because of his very limited mobility as well as a vision impairment, he was not able to navigate around as easily as most. He could not type or read text chat, access his inventory or use the map or search functions. But he was able to walk and fly around, accept teleports and voice chat with people. Those times meant more to him than a lot of people ever knew.They were special times, and I’m so glad I got to know him.
Juanito died last summer, due to complications from an infection he got in the hospital. Even though his health had been poor for years, it was still sudden and unexpected. One week from today, I will be visiting SL Memorial Park for the Day Of Remembrance.
There is a painting Keeme and I keep somewhere on our land, to remember Juanito by. It’s a photo Keeme took of the two of them, not long before he died. It moves around, depending on the build. But it’s always there, somewhere.
I miss you, Juan Texan.