The most wonderful gift

I posted before how my friend Lori at Fairytales and Margaritas wrote about online friends and the impact they can have on our lives.

I am a member of several private online communities, mainly based around the shared interest of our children. Most of these amazing ladies are from the States and Canada, and we have been sharing our lives since 2004, when most of us were pregnant with babies to be born in January 2005.

These ladies have become such close friends to me. I seriously cannot imagine not having them there, as sounding board, confidantes, sisters. They cheer me up in times of strife, they push me to be a better mother, they help me learn more about myself and about others. We’ve been through everything together- marriages, divorces, births, deaths, laughter, tears and a million things besides. It’s weird, because the forums have something of the sense of the confessional about them- we all know that nothing we say will be taken anywhere else, so somehow I think we share more with each other sometimes than we might with our families or closest offline friends.

I’ve met some of them in “real life”- one of them in Ireland several times when she’s been visiting family, and some of them during a trip to Chicago in 2006, memories of which I will always treasure. I hope I will meet more of them in time, even though we’re geographically so far apart.

They’ve been a massive source of support during my recent trials, and continue to be a wonderful cheering squad as I continue to fight with cancer.

Today, I received a huge parcel in the post. It contained so many wonderful goodies- chocolates, headscarves (thanks Netty!!!), inspirational books, cards…I could go on! There were also two very special books, one being a children’s guide to the US States, into which Lori had written the names of my friends against their individual state. There’s also the most FABULOUS book of Ansel Adam’s incredible photographs of the American West, as they know I love looking at landscapes, which I can’t wait to get properly stuck into!

Best of all though- and the bit which touched me the most- was a huge collection of photographs. My friends had all made “get well soon” banners with their children and took pics of the kids holding them up. These have then been collected up by Lori from all over North America and sent to me in Ireland. I freely admit to bawling like a baby over those, and will treasure them for the rest of my life.

So, to anyone who questions the validity of online friendships, I hope you can see how much these incredible women mean to me. They have been a huge source of help, companionship and advice, love and encouragement. They have championed my cause and stood behind me. And I love them all. Thank you, a billion times over, to those special, special women.

7 Responses to “The most wonderful gift”

  1. August 28, 2008 at 6:44 pm

    Aw, the banners sound awesome!

    I have a bunch of online acquaintances that have crossed the boundary into “real friends” territory. Hell, I married one.

  2. August 29, 2008 at 3:28 am

    Friends are friends! No matter how you meet them or where they live.

  3. August 29, 2008 at 6:56 am

    I hope you are seeing now exactly how much you are loved. 🙂

  4. 6 Andrea R
    August 29, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    Hugs Suzy!!

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