A Lesson Learned

lonetree.jpgThroughout most of our lives we exist solely as numbers and nicknames.

We start and live our entire lives with a social security number. People call us Peanut, Pumpkin, Dumplin’, or some other nickname and we begin the long journey through life.

As we grow and adapt to the society around us, we are known by more numbers. These numbers link all of our information in one way or another. Our banks accounts, credit scores, grade point averages, and even our wholesale membership club cards are all linked to our social security numbers.

In this day and age with the Internet we develop an online presence and we choose our own nicknames and usernames to portray ourselves as we want to be seen by the world. Numbers and nicknames become the norm, and we live our lives as monikers and avatars.

Many people try to keep their online world separate from their real lives, but it seldom works. Whether you meet someone online or real life, you are human. You are bound to develop a relationship with other humans, whether you want to or not. We develop online friendships and we get to know each other. True, we may try to believe we are just numbers and nicknames to each other, but we all know there is a human behind that avatar, and we we feel. We feel because we’re supposed to. We’re human.

We develop online friendships and we get to know each other. In fact, those online friendships can transpire into some of the best real life friendships. I have been extremely lucky. Most of the people I know today started out as “online” friends. Heck, I met my wife on the Internet back in the fall of 1996.

It doesn’t matter if we meet friends online or in real life (or both), we’re extremely lucky if we meet people who bring joy to our lives, people who make our lives richer, and people who make us realize (without knowing it) that we can be better human beings.

I was saddened to learn tonight that Lisa Kelly had passed away. Many people knew her simply as Lisa, over at Clusterfook. Lisa was one of those people who used her real name and didn’t hide behind an avatar. She was a strong woman, a wife, a mother, and a friend to a lot of people. She had been fighting cancer off and on for the better part of five years and shared her journey with all of us in the blogosphere. Sadly, she lost that battle tonight.

Lisa blogged about her daily battles with cancer and her love of her husband and children. She blogged about the things that made her happy, as well as the things that aggravated her to no end. In the end, Lisa taught us all to stop and take a breath.

While we are saddened by Lisa’s death we must remember she is no longer suffering, she is no longer in pain. We must also remember that life, no matter how bad it gets, is worth fighting for. If anything, she taught us that.

Whether you choose to be yourself, or simply wish to think of yourself as a number or a nickname, stop for a moment and think about the real people in your life right now. Have you told them you love them today? Have you thanked your buddy for lending an ear? Have you thanked your girlfriend for being the shoulder you could cry on? Are you living your life to it’s fullest?

Rest In Peace, Lisa, and Godspeed.

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