Our story behind how we got to a website dedicated to Anne Blane Grubbs as presented by Mike Grubbs (husband).
While visiting my sister Lynne and her husband John at their home in Cary, NC after Christmas of 2014, Lynne mentioned that I should try to save Anne’s posts from the CaringBridge website. For anyone not familiar with that site, someone can post information about their health situation and update and receive messages from “followers” without endless emails, texts and phone calls.
Anne had started posting there in 2008, after she was re-diagnosed with cancer, this time in her back and other locations in her body. Lynne said Anne’s messages were so inspiring and that Anne probably lived longer because of her positive attitude. Lynne suggested that perhaps I could work Anne’s inspiring words into some sort of a memory book. John offered to collate all of the CaringBridge texts, which he then emailed to me in several attachments. I don’t know how to take PDF’s and make them into a Word document that I can edit, and asking a tech friend how to do it didn’t get me any further along, so I simply saved the documents.
In July of 2015, I had visited Anne’s Facebook page, which I sometimes do, and noticed that a former co-worker of Anne’s, Roger Whittaker, had requested that she ‘friend’ him. They had worked together at Community Education years earlier, until Roger returned to Owensboro and started his own computer business. I pondered on that, wondering why Roger would want to friend Anne. I finally realized that HE DIDN’T KNOW that Anne, at the young age of 63, had passed away 11 months prior to his Facebook friend request.
So I ‘friended’ him and told him to call me. He did so after looking through Anne’s page and realized what had happened. During a long conversation he asked if there was anything he could do. I mentioned the CaringBridge pages and asked whether he knew how to make PDF’s into an editable Word document. He had me send him the documents and he would take a look. I told him there was no rush.
In February of 2016 I received an email from Roger offering to come to Bowling Green. He wanted to show me what he had done. I then started thinking about logistics: how will I get whatever he did organized into a book? How will I get them printed? What will it cost? How will I distribute them and to whom? We met and he told me about how he had tried to work with the Word documents and how difficult it was with different formatting and such. Then he showed me this website, AnneGrubbs.com, that he had created for Anne, including all sorts of articles in which Anne had been featured or at least mentioned, plus other unique features of the website. A website! Not something I would have thought of. Something not static like a booklet that can never be changed or updated. Something that anyone can access for free. Something where I don’t have to find out who wants it and then go through the process of mailing it to them.
Roger told me how he and his assistant had both been inspired by Anne’s messages, and that at least some of these messages should be shared with others facing adversity. I was clearly overwhelmed by their work.
Thank you Roger for such a unique and remarkable solution; and thank you Lynne and John for the suggestion.