Paula commented on a recent blog post. "You know ... I said to my husband over the weekend ... isn't it weird how the world now works. I was talking about your comment on my blog ... I had been for my latest appointment and you asked about my proposed surgery. I said to my husband isn't it amazing - I don't know you - you live on another continent - but you have read my blog and have been thinking and asking after me. That we have struck up this wonderful mutual interest/friendship."
It is interesting how that works. We walk into each other's lives, so to speak. We celebrate the new babies, and declining tumor markers. We begin to recognize people from places we've never been. We call them by name, even. I know the names of dogs in Wasilla Alaska. A cat from Australia.
Still, this morning, blowing my nose over and over, coughing, reading my e-mails, still the news shocked me to the very core. My cup of coffee was halfway to my mouth when I read the news that one of my friends was now a widow, and that from halfway around the world, her thoughts were to explain her sudden absence from this world of the internet to a handful of friends she was close to. I gasped, "Oh my GOD!" and I wept. And no one can tell me, not for a minute that my online friendships are any different at all from the friends that I see and speak with regularly. It's no different. Truly. It is not. And in the dark of my living room, I could only pray that I was as 'real' to her as she is to me, because I wanted her to feel how very sorry I was. I wanted her to feel my hug.