Some of them are people I've only met a few times in real life, and yet, I consider them some of the dearest friends I've ever had. A handful of them I've NEVER LAID EYES ON, and yet, they know me better - and I them - than some of my IRL (in real life) friends do.
And so today, when I got the news, it was my internet friends I turned to first. Here's the story as I posted it on ScrapShare:
WAH!!!! Dani lost my camera...
I'm sure I'll blog about this later, but
for now...WAH!!! Dani just called from D.C. She just arrived there today. (She's
been in NYC since last week, participating in a Global Summit conference thing
where students do mock UN debates and trade agreements, etc.) She lost my
camera! She took my trusty workhorse held-together-with-scotch-tape Canon A80
with her, and lost it last night. She was sooooo scared to tell me.I'm not mad
about the camera.
(Honestly, I prepared myself for the possibility of it
not coming home, 'cause
for all of Dani's good qualities, she's a bit
scatterbrained about keeping up
with stuff.) But I wasn't prepared to be so
sad about the pictures I'll never
get to see now! Her whole week of life in
NYC (she stayed in a dorm on the
Columbia U campus) is GONE. I won't get to
scrapbook it. I won't get to see all
the awesome photos she's been
describing to me.
She said, "I still have $140. I'll try not to spend
much more. I'll eat really cheap. And when I get home, I'll add to that money
with some babysitting jobs and replace your camera."
I said, "Dani. Don't let this ruin your trip. I'd rather you have good
than good pictures. Enjoy the rest of your trip, spend your money,
and in fact,
blow some of it on a couple of cheap disposable cameras and
pictures. Don't punish yourself, and don't worry about
When she gets home and the trip is behind her, THEN I'll make her
replace my camera. That was part of the deal when she begged to take it... that
if she lost it, she'd have to replace it somehow. Hard lesson. For her AND
Gah. This parenting thing. It never DOES get easier, does it?
The responses I got from my online buds were overwhelmingly sympathetic. (And in some cases, empathetic!) Cheryl and Susan comiserated with me while remembering cameras full of vacation pictures that they've lost. Tonya gave me hope that an honest, good person might have found it and we might see it again. (She was that person once at DisneyWorld!) Mary encouraged me to ask others in her conference group for photos, as did piggum. Favpastime and Simply Coffee reminded me that Dani is a gifted writer, and I should encourage her to write down every memory and describe every detail while it's fresh. Amazingly, Erin (who lives near Washington DC, where Dani is spending THIS week of the conference) offered to loan Dani another camera, and offered to drive it over to her! And Jayce, my friend in Staten Island, first chastized me for not telling her than Dani would be in the city in the first place, then scolded me further by saying that HAD SHE KNOWN, she could've taken Dani a new camera before she left for D.C.
I love my online friends. Truly, I do. On days when I need an instant hug or instant validation, or immediate advice, it's often those friends that I turn to, because SOMEONE. IS. ALWAYS. THERE. Even now, at 2:37 a.m., I could log on and find someone to answer whatever question I have, or to laugh at whatever is cracking me up, or to oooh and aah over whatever scrapbook thing I'm excited about. These people GET me, because we all have a shared passion: family and scrapbooking. Some of us are white, some are black, some are asian, some are hispanic. Some are wealthy, some are scraping by. Some are Democrat, some are Republican, some are Libertarian. Some are atheist, some are agnostic, some are Christian, some are Catholic. (HA! The girls from "the board" are laughing at that one.
All are real.
All teach me, inspire me, encourage me, challenge me.
In my post about the lost camera, it was Peggy D's response that touched me most. Her signature line, which wasn't aimed at me AT ALL, but which spoke to me anyway, reads: Never doubt in the dark what God has shown you in the light. --Raymond Edman
That's perfect advice for me, right now. The lost photos. The missed scrapbook opportunity. The irreplaceable "Dani Kissing The Bull On Wall Street" photo. They're all "dark" now. But the memories Dani has - the "things God has shown her in the light" - those are still real. She doesn't have to have photos to make it so. And neither do I. God has already answered several very specific prayers regarding Dani's trip - that she make friends easily (she arrived at JFK not knowing a soul), that she travel safely, and that she have the time of her life. I won't doubt in the dark what Dani has seen in the light.
(But I'm still gonna scrapbook her trip! Photos or not.... ;)