Thursday, September 11, 2008

For Jeannette

When I was in High School I was a bit of an anomaly. I could mingle just as easily with the nerds, jocks, band geeks, and hoods. Except the cheerleaders. They didn't like me. But then again, they didn't like ANYBODY. Not even each other really.

But at heart, my core group of friends was generally the studious over-achieving geeks. Sadly I mostly related to them on the geek level and not so much the studious and over-achieving. And since I had wonderful geek friends I had access to these cool things called computers that hardly anyone had. And since some of my friends were of the extra-nerdy variety, one of them had this doohickey called a "modem" on his computer that enabled you to talk to other people by typing little green letters on a black screen.

At the time I wondered why the heck you would want to talk to people on the computer when you could just as easily call them on the phone. Well the obvious reason (according to my friend Eric) was you could talk to people you didn't know.

And why in the world would I want to do that?

And I would have agreed with that sentiment up until a few years ago. Oh, email was cool, and I love the ability to look up any question, no matter how bizarre, and get 5,000,000 different answers of varying credibility at the end of a few keystrokes.

But a few years ago while pregnant with my third child I joined a message board forum with several other women that had babies due at the same time. And from that forum I have formed friendships with people every bit as real and meaningful as the ones I have with people I can shake hands with or hug.

It still amazes me that without this form of communication there are people I would never in a million years have talked to, as they live halfway around the world from me. Nonetheless these people, particularly friends in Australia, South Africa, New York, and coincidentally Pittsburgh, know more about my life than my husband in some cases. We have supported each other through births, marriages, deaths, and divorce. Not a day goes by that I don't "talk" to one of these women.

So it was with great sadness that I learned that my friend in South Africa lost her Mom today to her battle with emphysema. And the news hit me as hard as if it had been one of my family members. Because in essence, it was.

And that's the downside of this friendship. No matter how much I long to, I cannot hold or hug her. I cannot feel her tears on my shoulder or offer to watch her young son while she grieves.

But I know that she knows that I am with her in spirit through it all.

In Memory of Heather Moira McClelland Kirk
24th January, 1943 - 11th September, 2008


Norkio said...

We love you Jeanette.

Boo said...

Ahhh, MB. You made the tears come again. I didn't know you'd done this, and I've just done the same thing. I am so lost. I think you wrote it better than I did, and if you wouldn't mind I'd like to put a special link in post to this one here. Is that ok???

(i also didn't have access to those photo's because of the new computer...I used a facebook one)

Boo said...

I did it anyway MB...:)

Ashley Hester said...

Jeannette-we all love you!