Because of the recent, very serious illness of my friend Lona, I've been thinking a lot about all the friends I've met online. Lona, by the way, finally got to go home for good the week before Christmas. She mentioned in a chat room this morning that she hasn't been shopping since September, when she first got sick. That's a long time to be indisposed.
Lona was one of the first Internet friends I met in person.
Some of my old chat room buddies, I haven't met face to face; and yet I feel I know them quite well.
I started out in an AOL Christian senior chat room, although I wasn't sure I qualified as "senior" (I was 54). It wasn't as crazy as most chat rooms I had briefly checked out, and I gradually became comfortable carrying on typed conversations with strangers. Only they didn't feel like strangers for long.
Because it was a "senior" chat, most of the people were in my age group and older. Thinking back, I realize how many of them have died.
But there was one younger lady who chatted with us regularly. Her name was Lori, and she's about the age of my daughter. She had one little boy, Danny, and kept us informed of his antics, and cute things he said.
I remember her being asked sometimes, "Wouldn't you rather hang out with people your own age?"
She continued to "hang out" with us anyhow.
Most of us adopted her as our own. We went through a very moody pregnancy with her, then Becca was born and Lori was back to normal.
I've been seeing pictures of Lori and her family forever, it seems. And hearing her kids' voices, too, because she used to make sound wavs of them and send to us. We'd even play some of them in the chat room.
Next she had Mikey, after a not-so-moody pregnancy. And recently, baby Aaron.
Yesterday she sent me a video (no easy process, since she's on dial-up) of twelve-year-old Danny playing a keyboard, with Mikey toddling around him. It was amazing, seeing those kids who live in Louisiana come to life before my eyes.
I'm just musing here, thinking how much the Internet has expanded my world and let me get to know so many unique people. Indeed, it has enriched my life. Thanks Lori, for keeping babies in my world.