isn't it crazy how much the internet has changed our lives? we can learn all sorts of new skills, buy practically anything you can think of, find someone new to date, connect with celebrities, make new friends. the latter is something i've been thinking about a lot lately, as i join a whole community of online friends in mourning the loss of one of our own.
there's a pretty large group of people who i've been chatting with online now for more than a decade. i've never actually met most of them, and yet we've exchanged christmas cards over the years. i've participated in a secret santa gift exchange a couple of times. a good number of them have even asked me to do cookies for various events. pieces of our lives are shared on a regular basis on those community boards, and we've been there for each other as we go through all sorts of milestones: weddings, divorces, pregnancies, raising kids. i feel like i have a whole network of buddies all across the country (some even in other parts of the world), and i think that's pretty cool.
when one of them shared her cancer diagnosis with us over a year ago, we were all there for her as she went through the various stages of acceptance. we gave her as much love and support as one can over the internet. she would tell us about everything she was going through, physically and mentally. in turn we would do our best to entertain her and make her laugh, all the while hoping that a miracle would occur and she would be cured.
she passed away yesterday morning at the age of 49, leaving behind a husband who she'd supported through his own illness, children, beloved grandchildren, and countless others who loved her for the kind, gentle, faithful, feisty lady she was. while we knew that she wasn't doing well and had returned home to spend her final days in as much comfort as possible, it was still a shock when we got the news that she was gone.
as my friend weezermonkey said, we should never take our friendships for granted. and so whether we've been strictly internet friends or met even just once or we see or talk to each other on a regular basis, i appreciate you. i'm happy to have you in my life, and i hope that we are friends always.
rest in peace, v. we love you, and we'll never forget you.