Friday, July 23, 2010

Shine on, Sprkl111

Back in the late nineties when I started hanging out in the "Christian 50 plus" chat room, one of the first people I warmed up to was Sprkl.  When a person entered an AOL chat room, the name that showed up on the chat screen was her AOL screen name, and many of us ended up being called by some shortened form of that "screen name" when we met in person.  It's how I became "Mo", and later, "Mosie".  
 Sparkle was an upbeat, positive lady who loved to talk about her past life, her children, and time spent as a Navy wife.  Her husband, whose name was Cliff just like my husband, made a career in the military; he died after retiring, at a relatively young age.  Sparkle had been a widow for a long time already when we met at the very first chat reunion I attended in Texas; was it 1999?  

 She was the same in person as online:  cheerful and full of stories.  She didn't get around the best due some sort of botched surgery that had caused one of her legs to be shorter than the other.  So she definitely couldn't run a race, but that didn't keep her from traveling to every chat room reunion she could afford.  

 One of her sons accompanied her to the later gatherings.  The chat room wasn't his thing, but he knew how much his mom wanted to see her friends, and she could hardly travel so far alone, by that time.  Keep in mind that this lady lived in Washington state, and flew all the way to Dallas to be with the rest of us.  
 Through so much silliness and childishness and backbiting that went on later in the chat room, Shirlie remained the peacemaker, always a calming influence.  I remember one mentally troubled man turning against almost everyone in the group, lashing out verbally, viciously.  The one person who kept in touch with him through email after that was Sparkle; she met with him in person later on, when she was in his part of the country... the only member of our group who ever met the man in person.  
 It was her Internet friends who first realized she was having a stroke and contacted a family member: She had always been an excellent speller, and one day the words she was typing onto the screen became garbled and nonsensical.  I'm telling you, folks, we were a family!
 Our group would not have been the same without Sparkle; we are all better for having known her.
Rest in peace, sweet Shirlie Thorsen.  You loved the state of Washington, but I think you'll love your new state even more.
Then the righteous will shine like the sun in their Father's Kingdom. Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand!  Matthew 13:43


Hyperblogal said...

I like her and I never even chatted with her.... sorry about the loss....

Linda Brown said...

She was a great friend who loved us all. I loved to hear her talk about Washington and in the winter her putting the logs in the stove. She could tell a story so good. We will miss her and her emails

Diane R said...

Thanks Donna..that was a fantastic memorial to Shirlee aka sprkl.


Lori said...

That was a beautiful tribute to your friend. I am very sorry for your loss.

Penny said...

What a wonderful memorial to your dear friend! May God's blessings shine on her family and internet friends. Penny

Debbie said...

I'm so sorry you've lost a dear friend. Your beautiful tribute to Sparkle captures the essence of loving and caring friendships formed through online relationships. May she Rest In Peace.

MGW said...

Beautifully written. You made Sparkle come to life and I wish I could have known her.

small farm girl said...

Sorry about your loss. She seemes like a very nice lady. You did a great job of letting that shine through.

gmthiel said...


Thanks for posting. I just learnt of Sprkl's passing. You did a great job of describing the essence of what was Sprkl. She truly was an amazing woman. One who shared much wisdom, poise, grace, and life experiences. She will be greatly missed.
Mary in Doyline, LA