When the MySpace rage first began, I was resistant at first. I joined, but really couldn't get into it. It just seemed a breeding ground for teenage angst and sparkly pink graphics. But after a while, it began to grow on me, and I was pleasantly surprised when I found some old friends from college there. Having gone to college 400 miles from home, it had previously seemed unlikely that I'd be able to make very many amends to my college peers. It felt great to start making those amends with people I hadn't seen in so many years.
Then the Facebook rage began, and I joined that as well. And slowly but surely, as word got around and it became more popular, I ran into friend after friend, from college, from high school, elementary school and the list goes on. I was able to find friends I had been looking for and hoping to reconnect with for years. Every one that I made amends to was gracious, forgiving, and I could feel a lot of my hurt from those years melting away. Reunions are being planned and I've seen pictures of what everyone looks like now, what their kids look like. It's funny to see us all as 'grown ups' now.
As I was pondering this this morning, I thought about all of my internet friends that I have made over the years on various sites. I have my moms group that I joined when I was expecting the Boy, my recovery friends on different AA sites, and my fellow stay at home moms from a message group that I co-managed for several years. I have several girlfriends from that last one that I am incredibly close with. We went through many heartbreaks & triumphs together, and formed bonds that are hard to explain to outsiders. If you haven't made online friends, it may seem strange to you. But these women have been a lifeline for me, as I spend a lot of my days with no adult contact. I've been a stay at home mom for nearly eight years, which is a long time to be 'alone'. With the hours and schedule that the Man works, I'd have lost my marbles long ago if not for the internet.
My nonbloggingfriend is one of these women. We have never met in person, but have been close friends for several years. We joke about getting in our cars and driving to meet each other somewhere in the middle of the 12 hour distance between us, just to finally meet. When her home was flooded with sewage from a poor drainage system in her town, I wanted to get on a plane immediately. I hated that I couldn't be there in person to hold her as she dealt with the mess, the sickness from eColi and a township that refused to take any responsibility.
When a former member of our moms group began harrassing me, and sent a letter to my husband with pictures of our children to 'prove' to him that I was a bad mother, my friend wanted to get on a plane as well. In the darkest days, we have lamented the miles between us, and I have asked God why He gave me a friend that I cannot touch.
But I wonder now at His plan, for He of course knew that she and I would feel this way. We share a different kind of bond for having never met face to face. I can only be thankful that I have her in my life, and be satisfied in knowing that if not in this life, then surely in the next, she and I will finally be able to be neighbors.