"There is magic in long-distance friendships. They let you relate to other human beings in a way that goes beyond being physically together and is often more profound."--Diana Cortes
When the doorbell rang yesterday, it couldn't have happened at a better time. I was feeling a down and out...and tired from sorting through our clothing, packing, unpacking, and washing. My vacation is almost over and the sense of dread has begun. Actually, hubby told me I should be taking advantage of some much-needed rest during these last few days, but do I listen? So, when the doorbell rang, I was in the midst of sorting fall clothes piled sky-high on my bed and automatically assumed that it was someone who had the wrong address, but instead, it turned out to be a most pleasant surprise. I'd recently won the giveaway over at Mother Moon's Message and was not expecting it to arrive so quickly, especially on a Saturday. Around my neighborhood, today is the Sabbath, and usually nothing is delivered today. Right about now, I am really wishing that I had a camera so I could share this wonderful gift with all of you, but alas, Son tried to get over buying a cheap, used camera not too long ago, and guess what...it didn't work...but, because he bought it used, as is, no return. I try not to think of it as a mistake, but as a lesson learned for I know he won't do it again.
Well, the package included the book, Eat, Pray, and Love, which I cannot wait to begin reading, a jar of her delicious peach jam, vanilla sugar (Mmmm), a lovely cup with some great tasting teas (perfect for an evening with a favorite book), a 2011 daily dose of Irish quotes, history, and traditions, a beaded necklass, a scented candle, a fancy little notebook for jotting down the ideas that come to my head on the subway, and some chocolates. Gave me a new incentive to finish with my work so I can take a shower and climb into my bed with my new book and chocolates....and what a relaxing time I had. It was such a special gift which has touched me more than anyone knows. Thank you, Mother Moon. What a special woman you are! All of you are special to me...my online friends.
As I've grown older, my life has gotten more solitary. I've realized that all too often in the past I have chosen the wrong people to call my friends; sometimes, those you consider your most 'personal' friends turn out to be not so 'real' after all. When I think about, perhaps the only real friendship I've had in my life was my friend Kathleen, and that has been over now for about 50 years. Imagine that, 50 years without a solid friendship...acquaintances, I've had many, but true friends are rare. Just what is a true friend, and do internet friends count? I believe they do.
Friendship is defined as a friendly relationship or "the mutually cooperative and supportive behavior between two or more people". Nowhere have I found it stated that for a friendship to be real it must have been at first initiated in person through either some sort of social function, school or work related activity, or random meeting. So based on the definition, yes, internet friends can definitely be real friends.
To me, getting to know someone is about so much more that just their 'physical' being; it goes far deeper than that. To me, a friend is someone that is there for you; I believe that all of you fit into that category. I also believe that a friend is someone that you can share aspects of your life with. My internet friends know more about me than those people who I have known for years. It is about becoming familiar with who this person is, what makes them tick, where they've come from, and where they're going. Communication is the key.The truth is, friendships can take any form. For some people, they may need a person who they can see and touch, while for others, it may be someone who can listen and give advice. For me, it's a friendship with another similar minded person. One who shares similar goals and values and doesn't mind the fact that her best friend can't reach out and touch her hand, but knows that she will always be there to touch her life and mend her heart. That sounds to me like you...each and every one of you. Thanks for being my friends.
"But oh! the blessing it is to have a friend to whom one can speak fearlessly on any subject; with whom one's deepest as well as one's most foolish thoughts come out simply and safely. Oh, the comfort - the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person - having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away."--Dinah Craik, A Life for a Life, 1859