This is a story of an internet friendship.
When we met four years ago, I was a barmaid with a suit of chainmail under her bed, and he was a halfling druid with a large dog. It was an online game (what else?). Some of us felt bold enough to divulge our real names and befriend each other on Facebook.
|Barmaid. Chainmail under bed and therefore not visible|
A conversation started shortly afterwards which has endured ever since.
Pat and I communicate almost every day. I've watched him turn his life around in more ways than I can sensibly count. He's watched me clamber through my various artistic traumas and teaching shenanigans. We've both tended to be there for each other when the going got really rough at some points.
Our ongoing conversation has taken us through politics, films, philosophy, gaming, more gaming, his work, my work, family, rules minutae, routes out of depression, character building and recipes.
We've met three times in the flesh. Pat has come to visit the UK twice and has just walked through the door and felt like part of the family. My son, who doesn't take to new people easily, immediately felt at home with him. The home gaming group absorbed him instantly as a player. He sat in our kitchen and broke up chocolate for brownies and peeled potatoes.
Husband, son and I went to Indianapolis for GenCon last year and met up again for a couple of meals. As always, it felt like he lived next door and had just dropped by.
This good and lovely man met his soulmate last year, and on Tuesday, they eloped. I'm using this post to say thank you to the internet for our ongoing conversation and to offer him congratulations and the best of good wishes. Few deserve them more. And yes, of course I asked his permission before I wrote this.
|I am assured the elopement didn't look like this.|