While many writers have given me ideas and inspiration, there are only a few authors that have shaped the way I think to any significant degree. Spider Robinson is one of those authors. Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon had the effect of jump-starting my emotional intelligence, and starting me to think about compassion in its many forms. That development continued through the rest of the Callahan series, and as I branched out into his other non-Callahan works, like The Free Lunch, the Lifehouse Trilogy and the Stardance Trilogy (co-written with his wife Jeanne, now sadly gone from us).
I don’t think I’m wrong in saying that at their heart every Spider Robinson book is about compassion. Often between and for specific characters, but just as often for the whole damn smelly, noisy human race. They carry in them the idea that it is possible to nurture and also be strong, that there is no weakness in caring; indeed, there is a profound fortitude to be found in loving.
As flawed as I am I would not be even half that man without the Spider Robinson’s words. His work has reached me and helped me at some of the darkest points in my life, and I don’t have the words to describe what that means to me. There are simply some debts that can never be repayed in full. But it doesn’t stop me from trying.
Simply put, Spider Robinson needs our help. As I mentioned earlier, Spider’s wife Jeanne passed away in 2010, after fighting cancer to a draw. Now, their only daughter Terri Luanna, has also been diagnosed with Stage IV metastatic breast cancer. She is undergoing treatment and the odds, while not the desirable 100%, are good. But she and her family could still use help, because of the myriad costs associated with the treatment and just…life.
If you have ever read and enjoyed a Spider Robinson novel, please donate what you can to help Terri Luanna. If his work has in any way touched your life the way it has mine, please help. Even if you’ve never read his work (and you should), trust me when I say that he is one of the most decent men among us and deserves our help and support. Give what you can, because even the small amounts add up over time. And even if you are totally skint and can’t donate take a moment to hit “Like” on her Facebook page and help get the word out on Facebook and Twitter.
And I highly recommend taking the time to read Terri Luanna’s blog, Graceful Woman Warrior. It is funny and well-written and touching by turns, and well worth the time spent.
Thanks in advance for all your help.
Update: Jan Schroeder has begun the Graceful Woman Warrior auction on eBay in support of this cause. There are some wonderful items up for auction so please take a moment to check them out and spread the word.