A friend of mine lost her teenage son to leukemia today. I haven't spoken to this friend - ever. I've never met her in person. Yet I've known her for over 9 years and have been there during many of her major life events - bankruptcy, divorce, her son's diagnosis, bone marrow transplant and now his death. If that seems strange to you, you probably aren't a blogger.
I met my friend online over nine years ago when I was a SAHM. We both sold children's clothes on Ebay. There was a big group of us - women in Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, Washington and Ohio. During Hurricane Katrina, we were online with one of our friends who was in Slidell with her two kids waiting for her husband before she evacuated and another who fled to Florida during her third trimester and returned to find nothing left of her home in Port Arthur. There are many other stories, including my own, but you get the idea. Blogging wasn't quite as popular then as it is now, so most of our conversations took place in a chat room format. Eventually we created private chat rooms, especially for one particular friend, because she always seemed to draw the trolls.
It's really hard to explain to someone how you can be so involved in the lives of people you have never seen in person. Sometimes I can hardly understand it myself. Yet today I find myself in tears, worried about how she will make it financially. I worry about her loss of faith during her son's illness. I'm not sure how she can make it without leaning on God. I'm also worried because her son was her life. She is disabled and doesn't work outside of her home, so it's going to be a lonely place for her.
I do know that she has plenty of friends around the country, just like me, and we are all praying for her tonight. Many of us will send her cards and a little money or a gift card to help out. I just hope and pray she will reach out to at least one of her friends who, like me, have never met her in person.