There was a time when I thought online friends were a figment of the imagination of sad people who had no real life. I could not understand a relationship which was acted out online. Facebook friends were a joke to me, and I was judgemental of those who used online dating sites.
Then I began to blog and “met” quite a number of fellow bloggers who became my “friends”. They were there to comfort and support me, to laugh and cry with me, and to support me when I most needed it.
Occasionally I have lost a friend. Unlike in everyday life, I cannot trace these friends. They just disappear. I wonder about them, sometimes I worry about them and often I think about them.
Last year I lost one such a friend. From early on in my writing I had enjoyed this blogger enormously. His writing was special. He had a haphazard routine of posting but everything he posted was worth reading. I hoped he was well. Sometimes when I wrote something I would think how much he would have enjoyed it, and missed his comments. Happily I had other “friends” so blogging continued to be fun, but I did miss him.
I will not share his blog just yet, for fear I frighten him away. Suffice to say “Welcome back friend”. You may be “just” an online friend, but tonight I am greatly cheered up to know you are back.
As I write this tonight I have come to realise just how much each one of you mean to me. My Irish Parenting Bloggers who are a great source of information and fun. Duncan from madhatters who was one of my first “friends”, Chattermaster from The chatter blog who is a kindred spirit, for Ksbeth from I didn’t have my glasses on who is so supportive always, Opinionatedman who always takes the time to reply even though he is now a megablogger, multifarious meanderings who has been a “friend” for quite some time, Soup to nuts who is one of my most regular commentors. and to others such as twindaddy who are relatively new “friends”.
As I try to acknowledge my “friends” here I realise how many of you there are who I have not mentioned, I do hope you can forgive me. I have not even touched on those who are not bloggers, but who read my words on facebook. They too have become my “friends”. I am so sorry not to mention each one of you, but please be assured I love you reading and sharing your life and mine online.
So tonight I want to publicly acknowledge that I have online friends. And each one of them is important to me. I am that sad person I mocked a year ago, and my life is greatly enriched as a result. A year ago I could never have imagined so many would sign up to read what I write. To those who comment regularly I say thank you, but equally I thank all those who quietly read what I write.
As for my old pal, welcome back my friend, I missed you!