The family walking towards the venue where Lynda and I had arranged to meet. The children were very excited at the prospect of the "party" we were going to with my friend and her little girl
Two weeks ago I had the wonderful privilege of meeting a long-time online friend and fellow blogger. Yes, at last Lynda (who's blog can be seen here) and I managed to meet in Johannesburg.
In 2005, Lynda and I met online through a weight loss club member board. She was (and still is) an expat in Tanzania and I was in Guinea, West Africa. Our mutual love for animals and concern for the underprivileged made us click from the beginning. Slightly incongruous I know: Lynda is John and Debbie’s age; I’m a grandmother and Lynda has a young family; she lives in one country, I in another; but there you have it. We became firm friends despite the age differences and the logistic challenges.
Lynda spoilt me (not for the first time) with a special gift. This time it was beautiful coffee mug and matching box, all decorated with cats. Now how could she have known I like cats? Mmm?
Lynda has always been a supportive friend during tough times and good. She cried with me when I lost my darling West African cat under tragic circumstances. She was there (online) to console me when my precious Rottweiler had to be euthanized. She laughed and rejoiced with me when my grandchildren were born.
I felt for her when her beautiful cat, Jessie and later Jessie’s offspring died. I cried with her when her faithful old dog, Zonde died.
I remember when she lost her baby in Tanzania, and felt with her, the trauma of being hospitalised far away from the comforts of South Africa. I felt her sadness then and I praise God for the safe arrival of her beautiful new baby today.
Lynda and I in Johannesburg - what a wonderful meeting.
She motivated me to start my own blog and assisted me continually. I cannot tell you how many times I e-mailed Lynda with yet ANOTHER query and how kindly and patiently she helped me every time. Once I’d started my blog, she did a special post on me which encouraged people to visit my page. How wonderful a friend is that? Even as recently as the weekend, I had a visitor commenting that she found me through Lynda’s blog.
After I moved back to South Africa in 2006, there were many times when Lynda came out to visit her parents and we thought we might meet up. It never materialised until now...
John, Debbie, I and my three grandchildren met Lynda, her mum and their little girl at a lovely tea garden in Johannesburg. The little ones got on so well and played together all day. We never heard them all the while we were there. It’s just as well because Lynda and I, over copious cups of tea, never stopped talking! It was also such a blessing to meet Lynda’s mum and for them to meet my dear children as well.
For those of you who follow Lynda’s blog, she is as lovely in real life as she comes through on her posts. She is well-groomed and speaks with a beautiful English accent (not usual in South Africans). She is highly intelligent and self-confident. Lynda is no shrinking violet; she displays a that certain strength which is needed to survive as an expatriate on a remote farm in Africa, yet a gentleness and goodness shines through her talk as it does in her posts.
Lynda, thank you for being such a wonderful friend over the years. I really enjoyed our meeting in the city and agree with you: next time our husbands will be with us and we’ll be meeting on your farm in East Africa. Amen!
For the readers who’d like to follow Lynda’s blog and her post about our meeting, click here.
Visit My World Tuesday by clicking here.