Our friend Alex Diakonis tells it the way it is: “Friends are friends no matter where we find them”. And Karen DeLabar is one of those friends that many of us met online, and fell instantly in love with her quick wit, sunshiny personality and love for her family. This is the last week to submit short stories for consideration for the anthology we’re putting together to help Karen with her medical costs. Read Alex’s post to feel the power of friendship, no matter where we find them.
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Friends Are Friends No Matter Where We Find Them
When I was approached to write this blog, I was flattered. I mean here I am, your friendly, neighborhood (soon to graduate) college student. I know that Orange Karen has become one of my closest friends despite the fact that I haven’t been out to see her yet. (Do you hear that Karen? “YET!”) I am just another guy who met her on Twitter. Many of us met her there, it seems.
I decided that, first, I should say a little bit about how I met Karen. That should give us the right perspective for the rest of this post.
I met Karen one day when I was just developing my writing habit. I was on Twitter looking around and trying to learn it all. I was new to Twitter and was not sure what I thought of it. Twitter recommended her to me. I still am not sure how Twitter’s fairies tell who should know whom.
I decided to follow her, she followed back and I have never looked back.
I am long winded but there is a lesson here, trust me, I’ll get there.
The point is that, in life, we meet people. We meet people who obviously are going to play a part in our lives. We meet people who are clearly going to shatter our notions of friendship. Karen was not obvious. Karen was not expected. She came out of nowhere and went against all expectations that I had for friends.
See, at that point, I was new to the world of online friendships; I didn’t know that there were real people out there. I mean at that point I was still in the mindset that every woman on the internet was a guy who lives in his mother’s basement.
Fact: Karen is not a guy.
If there is one thing that I have learned from Karen in this last year of friendship, it’s that we all must open ourselves to the possibility to the unexpected encounter. The best things in life are not planned. The best friends are made out of the people who care for us regardless of where we met.
Karen, as many of us know, went through an extremely scary time and is still healing. The constant that remains is that all of these friends she made are still there. We united. We gathered support and grew closer. We met online but we united to form a bond stronger than many IRL (in real life) friends ever know. We saw one of our friends suffering and we did everything we could to be strong for her and for each other.
As Karen recovered, faced down other struggles, recovered some more and realized her own inner strength, her friends, we digitally-represented, real friends found our strength. Karen became the pinnacle of all strength in Pubwrite and in many of our lives. I know that in my life, Karen represents strength and grace. She is one of the most beautiful people I have the honor of knowing.
Friends, Tweeps, Readers, there are few things that are as important in life as family and friends—no matter where we find them.
Alexander Diakonis resides in Ann Arbor, Michigan with his BFFF Danielle and their 3 mutant spider plants. When he is not studying the finer points of journalism at Eastern Michigan University or writing his novel, still a work in progress, he can be found making the best burritos you will ever eat at the local Chipotle Mexican Grill.
As an avid reader he can also be found with a Kindle in one pocket a dog-eared copy of something Sci-Fi in the other. More general musings or thoughts can be found at www.alexdiakonis.com and @alexjdiakonis on Twitter.