January 26, 2009

The Facebook Phenomenon

I'm sure my Facebook experience has been similar to most. I first joined and didn't do anything with it for months, but every once in a while I would get a "friend request". The whole thing just seemed foreign to me, and then one day I decided to log in to my much neglected account. There was an entire network of communication between "friends". So I commented here and there and finally got brave enough to give a "status update".

Well, you know how you go through those friend request spurts in Facebook? About 3 or 4 months ago I stumbled upon a pocket of my best buds from youth group (yes 20 years ago!), and it has been so fun! Some embarrassing photos have been posted and we've shared our favorite memories from choir tour!! Good times.

But what I wasn't ready for was the reality of life. A few weeks ago I read on someone's wall, of all places, some tragic news. The mother of my best friend in 9th grade had been cancer free for 5 years, but it had returned and she had weeks to live. Suddenly I was back in 9th grade, and even though I haven't spoken to Michael in years (except for a Facebook friend request), it's all felt very close. Last Thursday Michael's mother went to be with the Lord.

I don't know if death hits me harder because of Samantha's CF...or maybe because my sister-in-law died at the young age of 15...or perhaps because I've watched a very dear friend deal with the loss of her husband? I guess none of these scenarios have to exist for me to know that death sucks.

So this Facebook thing has changed relationships. Childhood friends that I wouldn't have even been talking to several months ago, I'm now grieving with. In the last week there have been steady emails back and forth as we each try to show love and concern in our own way. We were young kids who depended on our parents to drive us places, so we all knew Linda well. She was a warm, welcoming "youth group" mom, who always had a beautiful smile on her face. She will be treasured.

Today my friends from years ago are celebrating her life in the church we grew up in. Oh, I wish I were there right now. Even though I know words can't fix things, I still want them to. And if I were there I wouldn't have to say anything...I could just show support by my presence. Unfortunately, life doesn't seem to always give us want we want.

And neither does Facebook.


Carrie said...

I think I am definitely more sensitive since Sawyer's CF diagnosis. I jokingly call myself an emotional basketcase but I really have been very emotional the last 5 years. Also my dad passed away when I was 14 (he was 42) and it changed my life completely.
How great that you were able to find these long lost friends and now able to offer support to them even if you are not physically able to be there. Sorry for your friend's loss.

Dan said...

Very powerful post Alicia. This touched me in a huge way. Your caring heart continues to draw me to you. I love you.

Courtnie said...

Thanks for the kind comment on my blog :)

I feel that I am more sensitive to death also. My dad died when I was 12 and I think that made me more appreciative of life. Luke having CF has made me even more sensitive.

Froggymama said...

Alicia, Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog. One of these days I'm going to update my blogroll and add you and our other CF buddies.

That's wild that we both have Epilepsy and CF in common. They are such strange and misunderstood disorders, but hopefully we're close to controlling the seizures, and close to the cure for CF. Can you imagine what a wonderful day that will be?

BoufMom9 said...

What a sad thing to experience. It's so hard to feel so close and yet so far away....
I pray your friend's family finds some comfort through their faith.

I completely get what you were saying about facebook. i did the same thing and now I am completely hooked.

Somer Love said...

Crazy but I always think things happen for a reason and maybe you guys "found" each other again now so you could be there for her through this time. Even though your not there with them celebrating her mom's life she knows how you feel and I am sure she is thankful you have each other again!

Stephanie's Mommy Brain said...

Beautiful post, Alicia.

Laura said...

I loved this post, and I, too, love Facebook for that reason. I'm back in touch with so many old friends, and I love how you can send a quick note and keep up with what's going on in people's lives. Great post!

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