I know a lot of people scoff at relationships that are built via the Internet. But the fact is that I met my husband online, so I know that it’s a perfectly valid way of connecting with people who might not be in your geographic area, don’t enjoy hanging out at bars in clubs, or have other commitments that keep them from meeting people outside of their immediate circles. It’s not just a way to meet a potential love match; it’s a great way to make new friends.
I met Melanie (TheCouponGoddess) at a Stop & Shop event, but I didn’t really connect with her there. A few weeks later, we hosted our first Boston Parent Bloggers roundtable and Melanie was one of the bloggers included. Even though she didn’t know me very well, she took the time to contact me after the event to discuss something I had said. It was the beginning of an unlikely, but really great friendship. We disagree on politics, religion, and a host of other hot-button topics, but it doesn’t really matter. She’s a great friend when it comes right down to it and I feel very lucky to have met her.
Last night, Melanie was nearly taken from us. As Melanie was walking with her son, a driver came around a corner, wasn’t watching the road, and plowed into her at 30 miles an hour. They don’t even think the driver hit her brakes. It may sound strange to say that Melanie was lucky, but it’s true. A 30 mph car crash can be fatal; being hit directly by a car at that speed is serious stuff. She has a broken bone in her hand, broken finger, ruptured bladder, and multiple pelvic fractures. She’s also got a fracture in one vertebrae. Obviously, she’s also got a variety of cuts and bruises. And yet, somehow, she was able to joke with us last night, share gossip and take about the future.
Melanie has a long, long recovery ahead. She’s got surgery and months (at least) of physical and occupational therapy. With four kids, this is going to be an incredible challenge, but she’s also fortunate to have a lot of people who love her, many of whom she met online. I know she’s going to be OK. She’s strong, and strong-willed, and she’s got the drive to be successful.
You’ll no doubt hear this message from me again, but I implore everyone to simply keep your eyes on the road. It may seem like you’re just looking away for a moment as you reach for your phone and cup of coffee, or to change a radio station, but that’s really all it takes for an accident. And, unlike being under the influence, it’s not a matter of your response being delayed. You can’t respond to an obstacle you never even see.