We AOL bloggers had a certain bond, and yesterday I learned that even those I didn't interact with much have stayed in my thoughts. Facebook is probably the main thing that kept us all together, because most of them just stopped blogging after Journals closed, but they showed up on Facebook.
Here's where this is leading: Cliff has been reading the Willie Nelson autobiography that I read a couple of months back... stay with me here... and yesterday as he laid the Kindle aside, he remarked, "Willie has a house in Hawaii."
"Yeah," I said. "It's probably worth millions. No average person could ever afford to live there."
About that time a Facebook friend came to mind, a used-to-be AOL Journals blogger.
"But wait," I told him, "I do know of one Internet friend who is about as "normal" as anybody." (I'm talking lifestyle, income, things like that... because really, who is normal?)
So I found myself compelled to fill in the blanks about my friend who lives in Hawaii with her parents, helping with her mother who, I believe, has Alzheimer's. Here's the short story I gave him about her whole life.
"She lived in Colorado when I first discovered her blog and most entries were about her kids and her husband. They seemed to be a reasonably happy family, and probably were. Then at some point the marriage grew troubled. She and her husband agreed to disagree but continued living in the same house for awhile. After several years, she returned to Hawaii and that's where she is now. I'm pretty sure they aren't wealthy, but I'll bet the property she and her parents live on is worth a bunch. Oh, and her kids and grandkids are still in Colorado."
There was so much more I remembered, details about this lady's life, but it would have gotten boring to Cliff had I continued, so that's pretty much where I left things.
Here's what amazes me. I never met this lady. I didn't even read every single one of her blog entries, and although I remember leaving comments, I don't think I did so very often.
But in the words she wrote as time went on, I saw her heart break, not just once, but many times. I saw confusion, perhaps a touch of desperation, and finally acceptance, I saw all this without her ever going into complete details about some things. I guess you could call it "reading between the lines".
She isn't the happy-go-lucky lady I used to see portrayed in her blog. But she still has her sense of humor.
So. At six o'clock this morning I decided to private message Jody on Facebook, knowing it was much earlier in Hawaii. To my surprise, she immediately answered back. She probably hadn't gone to bed yet... I didn't realize there was THAT much time difference between here and there! We had a decent conversation, although I was all bouncing all over the place with the subject matter so that by the time she responded to one comment, I had already changed directions.
Yes, AOL Journals may be long gone, but the connection lingers on.
I do intend to do a little research and possibly come up with an entry about what Hawaii is like for the regular people, people who were born and raised there. Wish me luck.