Tuesday, September 26, 2006

a special Internet friend

Back in 1998, in the days of the old Christian Senior chat room, I met Lona.  She was the first "Internet" person I truly trusted, and I felt I knew her before I ever met her face to face. 

Lona is opposite me in many ways:  She's outgoing, has dozens (probably  hundreds) of friends, is active in her church, plays bridge every week, and has been to many exotic places with her late husband.  She still does plenty of traveling with friends and family.

In the real world, the two of us would never have met, even if we had we lived in the same area; we move in totally different types of circles.

But in the Internet world, we have discovered things in common:  we're both only children (although I have an older half-sister... but I was raised like an only child); we both have naturally curly hair (for a long time we laughed at how we seemed to get our hair cut during the same week); we have some childhood similarities in our church upbringing; and many of our politics, values and beliefs are the same.

So much the same that, back when we spent hours in that chat room, she and I would type the same opinion almost word for word, and enter it into the room at the same time.  Lona said we were twin sisters, only she just happened to be a few years older than I.

I've spent the night at her house.  I've ridden shotgun in her Town Car when it was brand new, going to a chat room get-together in North Carolina, and I've flown with her to Virginia to spend a few days with our friend Sue.

So for some eight years now, Lona has been on my buddy list.  We don't instant message that often, since I hate IMs.  We don't visit on the phone because I don't enjoy talking on the phone.  But if she's at home, her name is usually there with the "away" message up, and it's a comfort to see her where she belongs.  When she leaves for any length of time, or when she retires for the night, her name blinks off my list.

Yesterday morning I sent her an e-mail asking a question.  Her name was on, so I expected an answer soon.  This morning her name was still there, but my e-mail had not been answered.

I located a mutual friend of mine and Lona's, Cindy, in a public AOL room, and went there to ask her if she had heard anything from our friend.  She had not, but said she'd call and check on her.  Now, Lona has three daughters who call her daily, not to mention her many friends nearby; so I wasn't concerned that she was ill and alone.  I just knew something wasn't right.

Cindy found out Lona went to the hospital Sunday and is now back home, "sick with an inflamed colon, and in much pain".

If anybody ever deserved prayers, it's my friend Lona.  So I'm requesting prayers and good thoughts sent her way.


mastersblynn said...

Wow!  I believe that God impresses on our minds to contact someone when they need us.  One morning I woke up thinking...I need to call Sarah.  Sarah was one of the moms of a child in my childrens choir years ago.  I had not even seen or spoke to Sarah in years.  I kept having that feeling that I needed to call her...so I did and she needed me and did not know how to contact me.  So when you get those feelings I do believe it is God telling us we are needed.  I will pray for your friend Mosie. Barbara

marainey1 said...

May our dear Lord bless Lona with healing and comfort from the pain.  How blessed you were to meet this dear woman...'On Ya' - ma

madcobug said...

Prayers going up for Lona. It's nice to know you have a special friend like that and nice that you have more internet friends who will get prayers going up one for another. Helen

nanlynska said...

Donna....We will certainly be praying for our sweet Lona. Thanks for the notice about her. Love that gal !! Just like we love you and Cliff !    

Nance and Bill

pinkroseal said...

 I remember LonaMay well from the SR. Christian Chat room, she also comes to our Blog board from time to time, thu she states she reads more then write.
 MO please post on the message board of her illness and need of prayer.
 HOw nice to have such a close friend to  be so close  thu different in life. we are all God s children.    Pink in Minnesota

ksquester said...

Good detective work.  Yes, she will be in my thoughts and prayers.   Anne

ajoleblon said...

I, too, have often worried about online friends who disappear.  It's great how this online community cares.

tendernoggle said...


csandhollow said...

I do hope Lona is doing better now. She is such a nice person.
Like you I have names on my buddy list taht I do not talk to but it does comfort me to know they are there. (you are one on my list)

mumma4evr said...

praying for Lona!

lanurseprn said...

You are blessed to have found such a good friend.  I will keep her in my prayers.  Let us know how she is when you find out more, ok?

mutualaide said...

Praying for Lona and hoping she feels better really soon.  

fierrorachel said...

Ahh, Lona.  She's my favorite chat buddy of yours.  She IM's me when she's worried about your or Dad, and I'm glad you did the same.  She's one of a kind.  God be with you, Lona.

siennastarr said...

Prayers are forthcoming, Donna.  Sorry to hear about your friend.  I know what it's like to see certain people you feel very close to, nuzzled up all cozy on your buddy list.  When they aren't there I miss them.

I hope she will be well soon!


whitedove3622 said...

Met Lona in person twice and she is as sweet in person as she is in chat. We always laugh at our daughters phone calls daily. Lona is the reason I continue to visit chat room, of course there are others who make it special too. Get well soon Lona we miss you !!!

bnanajm said...

I agree 100% that she is one of a kind.  Three years ago, when you two came to Virginia to visit your other friend, Lona counselled me on financial matters and gave me some very sound advice.  Through that, I was able to start building my retirement nest egg even though it's many years too late.

She has my prayers as you do.