Monday, November 23, 2009

The Importance of Friends

I've been thinking about this a lot recently. Last weekend I had an old roommate visit (we aren't old, but you know what I mean). I haven't seen her in about 15 years and we had lost touch but recently reconnected on facebook. Anyway, I was making a big deal about having my kids clean up and telling them the schedule of how things were going to go while my friend was here. And my 4yo said it. "I didn't know you had a friend!"

It made me think.
I have sister in laws.
I have visiting teachers.
I have other folks from who come and go from my home.
but no, I really don't have many 'friends' in real life.

And yet, online?
Lots of people I consider 'friends'
They are the first to console me when I'm feeling sad
The first to congratulate me when I've got good news
The first to commiserate with me when I'm stressed or unhappy
They've sent me cards, chocolate, and gifts
They reach out and let me know they care

I do think online friends are real friends. Even though I may never get a chance to sit down with them in real life, we definitely share connections and get involved in each other's lives in a way I don't often do with people in the real world.

And today one of my online friends is hurting.

Some of you may know Yaya. She's awesome. She's funny and real, and she and her husband Josh have been through a lot- pregnancy loss, infertility, the ups and downs of adoption. And today she is hurting a lot. It's not my story to tell, but if you know Yaya, you know she is always reaching out to those of us who need support. And today she could use ours.

Go on over to her blog and send a little love.




((HUGS)) Yaya
Thank you to all my online 'friends'
I hope today is gentle for you.
peace-
emily

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6 comments:

Em said...

I have just recently entered the blogging world, but have already made friends. I think it is amazing how you can put your most raw feelings out there; things you wouldn't even tell your own mom, and get validation on your feelings. It is amazing how you can feel so close to a complete stranger. I do know Yaya and she has helped me a lot. I just wish she could catch a break. Anyway, I enjoyed your post.

Ter said...

I have gotten to know YaYa this past year and she is definitely one of the most compassionate people I've ever met. She is selfless and caring in a way I wish I was.

I agree with you about online friendships. I definitely think that some of my best friends live in the computer.

I was thinking recently about doing a post about friendship too. I couldn't figure out how to do it without sounding whiny though or sounding unappreciative of the friends I do have.

corilee said...

I haven't read Yaya's story. But from what you shared, I get where she's coming from, infertility, miscarriage, and now we are trying to adopt. Its a lot to deal with. She's not alone.

Yaya said...

Thank you.
I was getting some commenters saying they came from here. You are too kind.

Mrs.Vickie said...

I'm glad you're one of my online buddies too cause "real" friends don't really get me anymore..

*Hugs*

Jeanne said...

Emily,

This is my first visit to your blog. It's nice to meet you.

Thank you for posting this. Alicia (aka Yaya) is an online friend of mine but she's an "in real life" friend too. So, I am doubly blessed to be friends with her because she is a very special person... as you are obviously aware.

She mentioned you in her post and that is what brought me here today.

Speaking of your post, I have found it interesting as I've gotten older how more and more of my time is spent with family, teachers, etc. and how less of it is spent with friends than in years past. Everyone is so busy nowadays that it's difficult to even schedule a time to get together... which is sad.

I think part of why so many people are making such strong connections with others online is partially because they really need that "connected" feeling and aren't getting it offline... and partially because online support seems to result in connections with people going through similar struggles or pain.

Online relationships are real. I cannot get over how many wonderful, caring, thoughtful people I have met online... people who "get it" in a way that many people in my real life simply don't.

Every time I stumble across another person who is supporting Alicia, it makes me smile. She does so much for so many and it warms my heart to see people rallying around her at this difficult time.

Thank you for supporting Alicia. As I've said before and as Ter said above, Alicia really is one of the most compassionate, selfless people I've ever had the pleasure of meeting.

Jeanne

P.S. This is a quote I've had posted on my blog for ages. I think it sums up this whole idea of how people going through common struggles form a very tight bond...

“The firmest friendships have been formed in mutual adversity, as iron is most strongly united by the fiercest flames”
– C.C. Colton