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Kansas City MO 64131





Cindy Maddera

Monday morning, I opened my email and noticed some suspicious activity. There were over a hundred emails responding to one that had been sent from my account. All of the emails were from people I didn't know and all of them were complaints about having no clue as to why they had received an email. I immediately went to my settings and changed my password. Then I went on my merry way thinking all was fine and dandy. Thursday morning I tried to log onto my gmail account and was told that my account had been disabled. Google had decided that I had in someway violated something and had disabled my email. I filed the form to recover my account and waited. And waited. And waited. I am still waiting. 

While I waited to hear some news about recovering my email account, I became painfully aware of how dependent I have become to this account. It is my main source of communication other than text. My gmail window sits open on my desktop all day. It is how Talaura and I send each other stupid stuff we find on the internet like that designer bag that costs over $2000 and looks just like an IKEA bag. I lost access to all of contacts including home addresses for those contacts. I also rely heavily on Google Drive and have many half written stories there that I have every intention of coming back to and finishing one day. I lost all access to my Google Drive documents. I guess this is the equivalent to a fire in one room of your house. I've lost everything from that room. 

I have created a new account and I'm slowly rebuilding and linking day to day business accounts to the new one. I've sent out a request for people to email me at the new address so I can rebuild my contact list. I've thought long and hard about some of those documents in my Drive account. So many of them were stories that I had started and gotten a good hold on, but then just stopped working on. Always with the idea that I would come back to it eventually. There's one story in particular that I have written so many words for, but I haven't touched in ages. That story had recently popped into my brain and lately I've been spending time dissecting and rewriting it in my head while marching on the treadmill. Though Michael has assured me that I will eventually get my email account back, I've let myself mourn the lost words as if they're gone for good. 

Today I am thankful for a clean slate. This is an opportunity to start fresh, write new words and to stop editing and rewriting old stories in my head. It is also a perfect opportunity to clean up my email account which had become so littered with promotions and junk from my contest entering days. My contact list was messy with duplicates. Now's my chance to really set up a clean and organized contact list. One day, if and when I get my old account back, I can easily link it to the new account or I can just leave it as a junk drawer for unwanted emails. The funniest thing about all of this has been the response of those of you who didn't know my legal name. My mother gave me that name (some great grandmother's name) and she doesn't even call me by it. 

Tomorrow is the AIDS Walk of Kansas City and thanks to Katrina, I reached my fundraising goal yesterday. I am so so so grateful for each and everyone of you who donates to my fundraising page every year. This year's tag line for the walk is "We will walk until there is a cure." Decreased funding to the NIH for valuable life saving research, ensures that we will be walking for cures for AIDS and so many other diseases that wreck havoc on the human body for a very very long time. So, thank you. Thank you for supporting me in this fight against AIDS.

We're set to have a soggy weekend (it always rains on AIDS Walk day) and it has started with a soggy Friday morning. Here's to a weekend of rain boots and umbrellas and a truly Thankful Friday.