A few days ago I was reading a blog about on line friendships and how some just do not seem to understand why we can think of people we never met at friends.
I began on line chatting in 1996. I had two kids in school and lived in the country. Too far for me to have neighbors in for tea or coffee and a chat. I decided to try a chat room that was for those who liked to talk politics. Well, we not only talked politics but we talked about flowers, recipes and kids. We laughed and cried together over many of life's trials and tribulations. We suffered thru divorces and deaths together and celebrated marriages, the births of grandchildren, or children for the younger people. We shared all the funny little things life had to offer.
Along the way we have lost a few. Each time one died, a family member would log on and tell us then send the obituary to us so we could read it. One of them lost a son and I sent him a poem and he read it at his son's funeral. One day a son of one of the chatters came in and said his dad had passed away suddenly. I knew his dad as a very kind soul who had told us he was a police man. I sent an email to his son telling him how his dad was an inspiration to many of us in chat and about some of the things he posted in there about how much he loved his family and how proud he was of his son. Later, I got an email from his wife. She told me he was a pastor as well as a policeman and she read the letter I had sent at his memorial. That made me feel so good. The man never told me he was a pastor but he sent me many kind words of encouragement and would often send me private messages that were very inspirational to me.
When the chatroom was going to shut down, some of us began searching for a new room. We found one and had it for a few years when we had to move again. Well, we managed to move together a third time but we are still going strong and have added others along the way.
We think of ourselves as a dysfunctional family. No two of us are alike. We argue one day and forget it the next day. We are friends in every sense of the word. I would be lost without them. Just as I would be lost without my facebook and blogging friends.