She's been my biggest fan. Actually I don't think of myself as having 'fans' so that's always made her even more special. Her name is Linda Shepard and I met her on the blogs during the time that our mutual friend Renee was sick and she never failed to cheer on my writing and then I met her in her Arizona kitchen one afternoon and she cooked JB and I an incredible meal.
JB and I were on our way to a week's vacation and we were nearby enough to steer our rental car to Linda's beautiful home in the middle of nowhere. She kept saying, "I cannot believe kj is here in my kitchen! I cannot believe I'm having dinner with kj and JB!"
The last time I heard from her she said she was having some medical problems, that she would be in touch. That was a year ago. I've written, I've tried to call, I've contacted her condo association, I've googled, I've checked the town census. No word. And let me tell you what you already know: this is the absolute worse part of blogging. I fear the worse about Linda Shepard my friend and I hate that I don't know if she is okay, not okay, alive or not, in need or not, somewhere, nowhere. I don't think truly she would have stopped contact with me if she could help it.
I repeatedly say that it is important to have IN PERSON and local friends; that it is not a good idea to build your friendships only around blogging. Instead, why not take the unconditional regard and love we offer one another and model that in all our other relationships, the ones that are more conplicated, more demanding, messier and more challenging. I stand by this belief, keep your day friends!, but tonight what I also know is I have lost a good friend and I would like to know what happened. I would like her to know how much she matters to me and how much I have always appreciated her support.
I'll end by letting Linda speak for herself, this introduction on her blog, Arizona Skies:
I'm an early retiree with a 60's social conscience, living in and loving the American Southwest. This is a landscape of my world and you're welcome to come along whether I'm blogging from home or traveling in my RV. Every morning when I look up at that luminous blue Arizona Sky, I'm happy. Here is this brand new day dawning that I can fill with new friends and experiences. There is no telling what will come next and no nibbling around the edges. I take big juicy bites, till it runs down my chin and makes my fingers sticky. Indulgence is a heady brew so I'm jumping in with both feet and laughing out loud. Life is amazingly good.
Good to know how to hold on to people from afar....