Thursday, July 01, 2010
Now and then we bloggers rhapsodize over the acquaintances we have made over the internet.
Networking in its best sense.
They are people with whom I have shared some of my life secrets (not the dark ones, just the slightly sullied ones). But I have never met most of them. In fact, I have no idea what some of them look like. (And that aspect of blog life has grown ever since some bloggers began posing as if they were beneficiaries of the Witness Protection program.)
Several of my friends are amazed that I have made as many contacts as I have over the internet. As if electronic relationships are inherently inferior to those in the revealed flesh.
Let me give you an example.
I first met Cynthia and Mike through their blog. Residents of Washington, they were headed south to teach English in Mexico. They shared their preparations (repairing and selling their house, winding down jobs) with their readers.
One of their decisions hit home with me. They needed to decide whether to take their aging German Shepherd with them to Mexico. In the end, the answer was obvious. Sitka was a member of the family. She was going.
I was interested in their decision-making process because I had not yet decided whether I would take Professor Jiggs with me. I did. And I was grateful to Cynthia and Mike for their counsel.
After some difficulties in Mexico City, Cynthia and Mike decided to move to Guaymas. Tragic nearly struck twice. Sitka disappeared for long periods of time.
But blogs are marvelous. Even though I was in Oregon and they were in Guaymas, I posted information on my blog concerning Sitka's plight. In October 2008: lost dog in Guaymas. In December: the prodigal dog returns -- again.
When the family moved to Salem, I finally met Sitka -- just as Jiggs and I were heading to Melaque. Unfortunately, I missed seeing her before Cynthia and Mike moved to Washington recently.
Yesterday brought bad news. Sitka's health had been steadily declining. Like Jiggs, she was losing the ability to use her legs. Cynthia and Mike made the painful decision to have her put down.
The news was sad, and it had an immediate impact on me. After all, Jiggs died less than a year ago.
But it was more than that. Cynthia, Mike, and Sitka had become part of my family. Perhaps, a virtual, electronic family -- but a family, nonetheless.
Wednesday was a perfect summer day in Salem. The sun was out in a clear sky. The trees were as green as they shall be.
But something is missing.
Sitka. Thank you for sharing your life with us.