Sunday, July 02, 2006

Our Cyber Family and Friends

This isn't the post I sat down to write tonight. Tonight, I was going to post about another dish I had cooked from the fabulous Mitchell Davis cookbook, "Kitchen Sense". I had uploaded the food porn shot to flickr and refilled my wineglass with chilled French rose. I had the cookbook in front of me, MBH snuggled up next to me asleep and LB lying belly up at the foot of the bed with the fan blowing on him. All I needed to do was let the noise in my head quiet down and I would be all set to write. But, before I started my own post, I wanted to finish catching up with a few bloggers/podcasters as I hadn't had time to read their blogs/listen to their podcasts while I was away on my two week business trip and I was feeling neglectful.

It was during the updating of my ipod that I discovered that Dan O'Leary over at "Hotel Coffee" had experienced a life changing personal tragedy. His younger brother had been brutally murdered the day I left for my trip and I didn't find out until tonight when I read the post on the "Hotel Coffee" blog. As I read about this horrific event and the comments all his listeners have left, I started crying. I haven't met Dan personally but over the past almost year, Dan has become someone I would consider a good "cyber-friend". I have helped Dan with his audio for his podcast (Dan is a commercial pilot who podcasts) and we have exchanged some funny emails back and forth during the past several months. Dan is the soundtrack to my baking/cooking and sometimes, my "in-flight" entertainment during my business trips. He also has a great sense of humor (albeit very dry) and great taste in music, which he shares every week on his podcast. Dan is also a regular here at The Sour Dough (you may have seen some of Dan's funny comments on several posts). Basically, the type of person that if I met in person, I would sit next to at a pub, buy a beer for, and we would become friends.

Why am I posting about this? Because, this awful event made me realize tonight how connected I have become to people I have never met and never talked to beyond emails and how much many of you mean to me. MBH and I were talking yesterday about friends and the fact that we don't have many. I joked that I don't make friends easily but tonight, while sitting here typing this post, I know that statement isn't true. I have quite a few friends. I talk with them often. We share our joys and triumphs together. We commiserate and conspire together. And, when tragedy befalls one of us, we morn and share our sorrow with each other. This is the network of friends we have now. Not just the ones in our hometowns and those we grew up with, went to school with, work with, or otherwise physically met but those we have made a connection with in this virtual world of our making.

I hope Dan and his family know that out here his friends are thinking about him. I hope that they feel the comfort that those of us who Dan has touched with his podcasts and blog are sending their way. I hope...