I don't have Followers on my blog. I have Faithful Friends. Occasionally one of these friends 'unfriends' me, and I fret a little, wondering what I've done wrong. Did I know you by name? Did we have a relationship, or did you lurk there, joining as silently as you left? Do I follow your blog? Should I unfriend you as well?
There is a lot of talk nowadays about the value of cyber-friendships, and yet that group of Faithful Friends knows much more about my day-to-day life than many of those whose telephone numbers are listed in my speed-dial.
Amongst my Facebook friends I have both real life and bloggy pals. My bloggy pals are much more likely to comment on my status updates than the real life ones. Why is this, I wonder? Is it because you are more intimately involved in my day-to-day life through the pages of my blog, or are you more computer literate?
Sometimes a bloggy friend with whom I have a daily relationship will announce suddenly that blogging is taking up too much of her time and that she's going to take a break. Mostly that break becomes permanent, and I mourn the loss of one who has become a close friend, even though we've never met. After all, I don't speak to any of my 'irl' friends on a daily basis, and yet everyone would understand if I were sad at the loss of one of those friendships.
Today Jemimah and I travel to Avalon Airport to collect the beautiful Ruby and her two young men. I am terribly excited. Ruby and I both homeschool and we both blog. We attend churches of (almost) the same denomination. But we share much more than that. We share a great love of family. We both have a dry wit and a love of words. We know secrets about each other.
Like most friends we have differences too. She is so wise and I wonder whether she finds me frivolous and shallow. I wonder how my non-Christmas observing friend will cope in our home of over-exuberant Christmas cheer. Will our friendship be strengthened or weakened by this time we spend together? Will our friendship change by transforming itself from a cyber-friendship to one enjoyed in real life?
To all of my Faithful Friends out there, thank you for that friendship. Thank you for pressing the 'follow' button. Thank you for praying that our home would be safe from yesterday's floods. It was. Thank you for caring that our cameras were stolen. Thank you for your kind words as we mourned my dear father's death. Thank you for missing me when we're away. Thank you for encouraging me to write. Thank you for supporting me on our homeschool journey. Thank you for your help. Thank you for caring.
You are certainly true friends to me. That I don't wonder about at all.