Today's Monday Mourning was submitted by Emma Pace...
My friend Molly & I met each other through an online high school that we were both attending. Yup, we met online. I added her on Myspace and asked her a bunch of questions about the school. I still remember what her profile looked like when I first started talking to her. Pretty funny to think about now.
We emailed each other back and forth a lot in those first couple of weeks. That lead to trading phone numbers and talking on the phone for hours a day. We told each other secrets and talked about silly things all day long. Shared YouTube videos, funny pictures and life stories. She gave me a very brief look into her medical life those first couple of weeks, and then all of the sudden she was going in for a transplant. I remember reading about it and hearing how excited and nervous she was about it. I wish I could remember more details about that time but I don't. I just remember that afterwards she was able to eat Taco Bell and she was SO happy about it.
We talked for years after this. She was the person I could call, text or email whenever I had something on my mind. We could go weeks without speaking and never think twice about it. We made YouTube videos to send back and forth. We were not able to meet in person for a very long time, but in the time that I got to know her she became healthy. She had another transplant, this time a kidney from her mom, and was able to live her dream of moving to Los Angeles. She got to live near her best friend, Lauren, and constantly told me funny stories about the craziness that is California. I still remember some of those late night phone calls like they were made just yesterday.
When I was finally able to meet her, it unfortunately was not in LA like we had always talked about, but in a hospital in Omaha, Nebraska. She was back in the hospital waiting for a 4 organ transplant. I was lucky when I met her. She was a little tired but otherwise very happy and able to do a lot. I was so awkward. It was probably the strangest feeling to finally meet her. We talked about it that first day. We both felt like we were just meeting with a friend we hadn't seen in many years. I sat with her through dialysis treatments and her mid afternoon naps. She let me eat all the hospital pudding I wanted with no judgement. We talked about her boyfriend and mine, how different things were when we first started talking, how lucky we were to have the people we had in our lives, and how happy we were to finally meet. Then she would curl up and go to sleep. We watched bad TV and a strange documentary. We visited trashy websites and talked about how terrible celebrities were. For days, we were like kids at a sleep over, and then I had to leave.
We had one picture taken together. If there is something I regret, it's that. I wish I had taken more pictures of both of us together. I wish I had some video of us enjoying each others company, and being generally goofy. But I am so grateful to have this one picture and so many memories of the time I spent there. I was planning on coming back to visit in August. Molly passed away in June.
I can't express how strange it was for me. I knew she was sick. I knew she might not make it, but it wasn't going to happen this soon. She got really sick and then was gone in just a few days. After she passed it was so hard for me to grasp it. She's been in my phone, on my computer, for so long. We experienced and shared life with each other in such a unique way. I can't tell you how many times I've picked up my phone to text her something funny, or tried sending her a link to something I knew she'd enjoy.
I was able to go to her memorial service in Colorado. I am beyond thankful that I was able to make it there. I only had a short time there, but I got to meet all these people that were important in her life. I met her mom, her husband, and her best friends. I had more than just faces to names now. I felt like I knew them all already.
Molly was a wonderful soul. I miss her so very much.
Molly's family created a foundation to help bring awareness to the importance of organ donation and help families afford traveling back and forth to hospitals and having extended hospital stays with their loved ones. It makes me so happy to know people are sharing her story.
It's very hard to lose someone when they have been on your phone or computer everyday. I never realized how absolutely real an online friendship could be before her.
I love and miss her everyday.
Thank you Emma. Online friendships are very real and very strong. You are friends not because of a common location or convenience but because of a shared connection. I can't wait for you to have this memorial of your friend.