Last week, this world lost a beautiful soul.... a woman I had never met, but yet know with every fiber of my being that I would have enjoyed hanging out with, talking about obnoxious movies, books, TV, etc. Like me, she was not a "girly girl" but a tomboy...a zombie killer, a fighter in ways I cannot even imagine. Her name was Amanda Amos, but most of us in cyber-space knew her as Alabama Pink.
She was a frequent commenter on my favorite addiction, Pajiba. She also had her own blog, Whoa! Camel. A year or so ago, she was diagnosed with leukemia. Instead of hiding her pain from the world, she blogged about it. She was amazingly open about it...the pain, the fear, the hope, the treatments, the loneliness. She talked about her husband and young son. She talked about her parents. She talked about EVERYTHING. And that drew us all in. She was so eloquent in her ravings that we all fell in love with her. We listened, we talked to her, we sent her gifts, we sent money, we laughed, we cried, and mostly, we prayed.
But, last week, all that came to naught. Valiant though she was, the disease got the upper hand and Amanda's fight was over. Pajiba posted a wonderful picture of Patricia Arquette as Alabama in "True Romance" on their banner stating, "In Loving Memory, Alabama Pink" and ran what amounted to a sort of obit column. It was one of the most heartfelt things I have ever read. Then, following that column, the readers of Pajiba took over.....hundreds of us....ordinary schmucks who had never actually met this woman.....told stories about how she had touched us and how we would miss her. It was, to quote Tom Cruise in "Taps" ...."Beautiful, man, BEAUTIFUL!!!""
Several other columns followed, as did many other blogs. It's funny how one person, in the day and age of the internet, can touch so many people's hearts and lives. I am going to copy Pajiba's article from today, because there is some important information in it. But, before I do, I just want to say...Alabama....you were so cool.......
This site has been around for five years in June, and we’ve never been so proud to be a part of it as we were last Thursday. It was the worst of circumstances, but we were completely overwhelmed and touched by what transpired. The outpouring of grief and tears and affection and … fuck it … *love* that you all displayed after hearing about the passing of AlabamaPink — a woman none of you have ever met — was nothing short of magical. It was as though we were witness to a virtual, worldwide slow clap that built and built over the course of the day (and night) celebrating the wonderful life of Amanda Amos. It was the classiest thing we’ve ever seen on the Internet or otherwise. And it wasn’t just on the pages of Pajiba — there were tributes to AlabamaPink on blogs too countless to link, and all over Facebook; Skitz’s AlabamaPink seal began popping up in lots of profile pages. We were so moved by it all, we were tempted to change the site’s tagline to Scathing Reviews, Spectacular People.
We’ve all had a few days now to process Amanda’s passing, and if you haven’t read them yet, I’d like to point you to her husband’s most recent posts: The Last 24 Hours of Amanda’s life and Adrian’s own thoughts about the passing of Amanda. I’ll warn you: They may crush you. They are heartbreaking, and we can’t thank Adrian enough for sharing his thoughts so openly. It takes a lot of strength and courage to open your life up to thousands of friends and strangers. We can’t possibly put into words the amount of respect and admiration we have for Adrian. Really, they are just an amazing, wonderful family.
Over the last few days, we’ve also received a lot of suggestions. There are a lot of you out there who want to do something for Amanda’s family, to channel your sadness into something positive. Something tangible. We weighed a lot of the ideas, and what we’d really like to do is focus it in one place. Their church is putting together a Scholarship Fund for Amanda’s son, Alastair. And if you have anything to spare — $5, $10, $20 — it’d mean a lot to making a lasting contribution to her son’s future. Checks can be made out to the United Christian Church. Write “Alastair Amos” in the memo line. Those checks can be sent to P.O. Box 70759, Richmond, VA 23255.
We can’t thank you enough.
If you’re not in a position to contribute financially, we encourage you all to donate blood to the American Red Cross or put yourself on a bone marrow list. Hopefully, somebody out there can help prevent this happening to someone else. We think that would’ve meant a lot to Amanda.
Amanda’s New Orleans style service will take place this Sunday. There is a remote possibility that Adrian can get it webcast, but in any respect, please do send all your good vibes to Richmond this Sunday.
And finally, Adrian sent us the picture below of Amanda, writing: “The background swallows up the ginormity of her hand-cannon, but here’s Amanda in her 2006 Halloween costume. I was Ash that year, and together we kicked some zombie butt. Unfortunately the movies get it wrong: Zombie apocalypses always end in the total destruction of the human race. But we never lost heart, and I stood by her with my boomstick to the bitter end.”
Like we said: Amazing family.