I found myself at a place in my life where I’d suffered many losses. With lots of important people missing from my world, I decided that no one else was going to get in. But, with a need for interaction of some kind, I ended up on a website that allowed intelligent people to cyber-mingle.
I thought it was the perfect solution, but I was wrong. These online people were more than just icons and snappy comebacks. There were people behind the profile pictures, and I found myself forming attachments.
It started out with cards, then phone calls and texts. Gifts started being sent and received, and shoulders were both lent and given for crying. Then, visits became kind of inevitable.
I found myself caring for these people in a way that I didn’t think possible. I’ve met a baker’s dozen or so, and have plans to meet more. If you add their family members in to this mix, I’ve met upwards of 25 or 30 online friends.
You can get into all kinds of real life situations with online friends. You can laugh, joke, cry, bitch, moan and even get pissed off. Some online friends stopped being friends because cyber-bullshit doesn’t always translate any better than it does in real life.
And when an online friend dies, you grieve just as though they were a co-worker, real-life friend or neighbor. You cry, rail at the gods and remember.
I lost Terry and Søren. I knew how hard this next loss was going to hit, but I’m still reeling over the recent events. I lost Ruth.
I’m not going to go into detail about what an amazing woman she was, or all of the things she accomplished. Our mutual friends know all of these details. I just want to say that when she requested my friendship on that old website, it was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. She guided me, aided me and slapped me when I needed slapping. She became my online mother. My Mummy, as it were, and she named me InaPie. She yelled at me when I needed yelling at, and sometimes when I didn’t. Those were the times I yelled back at her. We locked horns, danced and hugged each other on numerous occasions. I felt honored that I had the chance to actually meet her. I’m blessed that I had Dame Ruth Dickson in my life, and my only regret is that I didn’t have her longer than the six years I was granted.
Good-bye, gorgeous. Until we meet again.