What is REAL?

Post date: Sep 26, 2011 4:22:03 PM

Our transplant story would not be what it is, and my mental health and well-being would not be what it is, without social media. How did transplant families get through transplants without www.liverfamilies.net or online support groups? Click on that link. Click on it and the first words that you see are “Welcome Home.” I have been away from my “home” for quite some time now but every time I go back I feel like I am at home.

It is a place of comfort, a place full of advice, a place full of laughter and love and prayers. It is a place of miracles. We have witnessed true blue, honest to God miracles in some of the children there. It is also a place of loss. Some of our kids do not make it. Some of our families grieve. And the loss and the pain and the miracles and the joy – they are real. Yes, it is an internet site. But, it is made of up real people, really sitting at their computers, laughing or crying, at what they see on the screen.

Today I was frustrated with this “reality.” I like many, was frustrated at Facebook. Stupid changes to an online site. And I get frustrated at another website that I frequent. I take too much to heart. My husband reminds me that it “isn’t real.” That he and me and Nataliebear and the home we make is real. He reminds me that I worry too much about the computer screen and shouldn’t take so much to heart. He lovingly suggests that I should not put so much of myself “out there,” for others to see, or worse, for others to use.

And I wonder what would my life be like without having it all over the internet?

Would my life be different without www.nataliebear.com? Would yours?

Some of my greatest “virtual friends” have come from www.liverfamilies.net and www.bankersonline.com. Yes, friends.

My life is a virtual “open book.” And that was a decision that we made (we meaning me again) when Natalie was 6 months old. I had a baby girl, born with Biliary Atresia and she was fighting for her life. I needed answers. I needed to know we weren’t alone. I was scared. Scared for her. Scared for me. Scared of the unknown. Scared and wanting so very badly to keep her. To keep her alive. I was scared of her dying. I still am.

And that’s how I found my friends. We met online. I shared our story online. There have been some twists and turns along the way, but here we are, just the same.

And today, as I was contemplating all of this, I see one of my college friend’s post to facebook. A post that hurt my heart. It made me cry with pain for my friend as she prays from her mother’s pain to end. And I knew, that this world too…this online world for all its games and silliness, for all its crazy updates and news, for all the angst and heartache, and miracles and joys, this too is real.

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