From Chicken Soup for the Girlfriend's Soul

The Nicest People I Never Met

Many people believe that we have to actually meet people for them to be real friends. I highly disagree. My three girlfriends are the nicest people that I have never met. They live in various places in the United States. One lives in the sunny state of California. Another lives in the great state of Texas, while the third lives in Illinois.

I have known each of these ladies for several years, but never met even one of them. We discovered each other online, formed close relationships through e-mail, and have shared our hearts by telephone, snail mail, and through instant messages.

Approximately five years ago, I met Kathy. She read a story that I wrote and posted online. My story was so similar to her own life story that she had to write to me. We hit it off instantly and became wonderful friends. She, like me, is a freelance writer. We share all our accomplishments. We express our writing concerns to each other and we cry over rejections.

When I have good news, I cannot wait to write to Kathy. Likewise, when I have bad writing news, I cannot wait to share it with her, as well. I know she will make me feel better with her encouraging words and comments. If we don’t receive an e-mail from the other every day, we both become concerned.

Diana was the second girlfriend I met online. We, too, have been communicating for several years. Again, Diana read a story I wrote and had published online. As a result, she wrote to me. Diana sent baby gifts when my grandchildren were born. She has never forgotten one of my birthdays or any other holiday, as far as that goes. I collect frogs. Diana has added many to my collection. I think of Diana every time I hear my frog wind chime as it dances in the breeze.

Diana telephoned me numerous times following my husband’s open-heart surgery. After my surgery, two years later, she outdid herself. For the entire six-week recovery period, I received a card from her almost every day. On the days I didn’t receive one, I had two in my post office box the next day. I saved every card. I also cherish the love that she sent along with them. Diana loves me so much that she wanted to make me smile through the pain I was feeling.

Annettee is the third girlfriend that I met online. She, too, read one of my published stories and contacted me. She is a writer, as well, so she understands the ups and downs that I feel while pursuing my writing career. Annettee and I don’t miss many days talking on the telephone. Some days we find ourselves spending entire afternoons together in conversation.

While talking, we discuss issues that are important to each of us. Inspirational messages, spiritual insights and family happenings are among our most talked-about subjects. I have grown spiritually and became a better person because of her friendship.

Friends may not always be people we can see face-to face. We cannot always reach out and hug our friends or physically wipe away the tears from their eyes. We cannot sit together and share a cup of coffee or shop together until we drop. While it would be wonderful to be able to meet each of my girlfriends one day, we all know that because of the distance between us, we have to simply use modern technology to help our friendships grow for the time being.

I am thankful for the stories that I have written over the years that caught the attention of my three online girlfriends. I do not believe that our friendships could have been any better if we lived just a few miles apart. I am thankful for the Internet and the opportunity to meet three friends who have made my life so much better.

A true friend is available when you need her. My friends have been there for me through thick and thin. All I had to do was go online or dial a telephone number when I needed any of them. Because of our unique relationships, I am convinced that even friends we have never met can and will be our friends forever.

Nancy B. Gibbs

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