After the passing of a Facebook friend today, tears fell down my cheeks in sadness for her family. She was a mother to two beautiful children close to the same age as mine and I met her husband through “Pink Heals”, an organization that supports women that battle cancer. As I shared this loss with a friend of mine, who ironically enough, I met on social media, she asked “were you close?”. This question made me really think about online relationships. I mean, life after all, is about just that…relationships. Once upon a time, I would have probably laughed at the concept of feeling “close” to an online friend…BUT, I have built so many relationships. Not only have I done that, but I am truly thankful for those relationships. Social Media has become such an integral part of the lives of today’s wives and moms! Don’t get me wrong, I have some of those, what I call “double edged sword” moments! You know, the ones that creep up on you when you see all of the negative on social media? The ones that make you say, “I’m tired of this drama! I need a break!”…..BUT…..There are some profoundly, life changing and positive things that encompass this social media thing and the relationships we build from it!
Relationships…I get to watch High School friends raise their children. Heck…I get to watch local friends raise their children, in real time! It truly makes my heart smile to see other mamas doing things just like me! It also makes me smile to see mamas doing it their own way! I mean, there is no “right way” after all! It is encouraging to read posts that make you feel “normal”.
Relationships…I get to share the lives of my family in REAL time..My parents and In-Laws get to see the comings and goings of their grandchildren. My mom often has tears streaming down her face in happiness, when she can watch a video of her grand-babies.
Relationships…Oh the friendships I have made! I mean deep down and true friendships…that lead to road trips to the mountains on a retreat with women who you, up until that point, had only met online. That road trip to and from the mountains then grew into a close bond with a small group of ladies who really get each other.
Being a firefighter has its rough days. There are days that we see things, which can never be unseen. Relationships… include meeting women who are also firefighter wives! Women, who just get it! Who embrace who I am, not only as a firefighter wife, but as a firefighter, a mama and just as ME…who help you vent through the tough days and keep you sane. They hold your head above water some days. I would not have this support if it wasn’t for social media…if it wasn’t for one woman’s vision who said….”Man, the fire community really needs this type of thing…the divorce rates and stress levels are high…I want to help marriages!”
Relationships…because of http://www.firefighterwife.com, I have what started as an online friendship and has turned into, beautiful, in person relationships. Women who will listen when I tell them how bad “today sucked” after cutting a child out of a car, knowing a car seat would have made a difference… or… holding a family member as they cry over the loss of a loved one. Women who in turn, I have been able to give a sneak peek of what the inside of a firefighters heart and mind may look like.
Relationships….”How close are you?”
It’s all relative………