We first met on a message board/forum for fans of the television series Christy, back when one could make and eat a sandwich in the time it took to connect to the World Wide Web. I can’t even remember the name of it, only that it was run by a woman named Sonja who was a big fan of Stewart Finlay-McLennan, aka Dr. Neil MacNeil. We eventually moved on to a message board for fans of American Idol contestant Clay Aiken (Oh man …). Back before that fandom lost its ever-loving mind. Then it was on to Café Allegro … then Facebook. There was an in-person meeting, a couple of phone calls, and with a consistency I appreciate every year, your family’s Christmas letter.
There have been disagreements. There have been many laughs. There have been prayers in difficult times. You’ve raised a family. I’ve watched the one around me grow, even as there were no children of my own in the mix. And through it all, I have genuinely counted you as friend, even with the miles separating us. Truly, I am thankful for our friendship, for you. I’ll do a better job of making that known to you while we’re both still in this here-and-now.
I wish your family’s present here-and-now were different. With so many truly near-and dear to you all, I’m praying and pleading, even trying to cajole and reason together for a fork in the road. One bursting with joy, incredulous thanks and praise … one with more time, with hope fulfilled, with evidence seen and touched and known with every fiber of your family’s being. One of a restoration so glorious it snatches the breath away from all upon first hearing of it.
If only we could so know and move the hand of God. Yet I have seen in the midst of this storm your faith, your love, your courage, and your strength. And I thank you for sharing even this. For letting friends near and far to help, to support in whatever way they can.
You are a joy and a blessing to so many. You are loved, and seen, and known. Praying for continued strength and courage, my friend.
Love from a Canadian friend.