Losses are never easy

cactus flowerWell folks, I had a post all written and ready to go out today sharing the continuation of our travels through Colorado, but I’ve decided to hold that one off for a few days. Today I want to share the joy of forging friendships through the blogosphere.

Over the past three years, I’ve had the honor of developing some wonderful friends through the blogging world.  Some of these friendships have developed into more than internet based relationships, which has been an unexpected pleasure beyond my wildest dreams.  Coffee dates, hiking meet ups, and brew pub get togethers with fellow bloggers have turned into true and hopefully long-lasting relationships.  Due to geography, most blog followers will remain as internet friends, or ‘cyber friends’, and that’s ok too as I treasure those friendships as well.

One blogger I was looking forward to running into one day was Wayne from the Blog Turn when the road does.

DragonflyHe and his wife, Rhonda, went full-time in the RV shortly before Al and I did, and we’ve been following each others blogs ever since.

Our comments flowed freely back and forth along with emails.  Sometimes our emails were lengthy, especially when it came to subjects like best route to take or truck engine issues.  Other times, the emails were short and humorous. Our last communications centered around food and the healing effects of proper nutrition.

Wayne was struggling with a terminal illness and was willing to think outside the box.  Wayne was the impetus for me starting a second blog, a blog centered around healthy eating. He wanted me to share some recipes and ideas with his wife, and thus Dally in the Galley was launched.

The way in which our conversations flowed, one would think we had actually met face to face.  Unfortunately, I won’t have that privilege as Wayne recently lost his battle with Pulmonary Fibrosis.  I still can’t believe how quickly the illness progressed.  Even after a dear friend shared the tale of the loss of her brother due to the same illness, somehow I hoped Wayne’s story would end differently.

squirrelAnd although we never actually met, I still viewed Wayne as a friend…. albeit a cyber friend and the loss saddens me greatly.

The day before his passing, Al and I were hiking near the town of Frisco, Colorado.  The elevation was well over 9,000 feet.  As we climbed in altitude taking in deep breaths, my thoughts wandered and I said to Al, “I hope Wayne is ok”.  While I filled my lungs with air my eyes welled with tears.  I was overcome with a flood of emotions.  I felt a sense of unease, great sadness, and concern for Wayne.

On the other hand, I was thankful the thin air had little impact on Al and me and our ability to hike and breath.  Any huffing and puffing Al and I did was no different from what we experienced in Arizona at a much lower elevation.  I counted my blessings and was grateful for each contraction and expansion of my lungs.  Breathing was something I didn’t take for granted that day.  Thoughts of Wayne were ever-present.

loss of a friendI watched my mother struggle to breathe while loosing her battle to COPD and I knew Wayne too was struggling for each breath.

I was saddened beyond words when a fellow blogger, another cyber friend, sent me a message letting me know Wayne had passed.

I extend my thoughts and prayers to Rhonda and the rest of the family for their loss.  May they find comfort and peace knowing Wayne was well liked by many; those he met in person and those he met online.  We all viewed him as a friend ….. a great loss to the blogging community.

Rest in peace my friend…. my cyber friend….. you will be missed !!!loss of a friend

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46 thoughts on “Losses are never easy

  1. Such a lovely tribute for your lovely friend. Cyber or real… friends are special. Such heartfelt love was felt from your beautiful post.My sympathy to his wife and family and great big hugs to you my friend!

  2. Ingrid, thank you for this beautiful tribute! Wayne mentioned you often, and we were looking forward to a face-to-face with you guys at some point. Wayne was positive throughout his illness and was making plans to travel at low elevations as soon as his condition stabilized. We now know that was not meant to be. But with people like you for encouragement, I am thinking strongly of somehow continuing the adventure in his spirit and in his honor. I may call on you sometime in the future for travel advice and RV-life moral support. I am now an official follower of your blog. Thanks again for your post and for your friendship.
    We will all move forward and continue to Turn When the Road Does.

    • Thank Rhonda for taking the time to comment during this challenging time. My sincere condolences and if there’s anything I can help you with, just ask. I look forward to following your journey and hopefully meeting in person one day.

  3. I’m so sorry to hear of the loss of your friend Wayne. I have read his blog posts many times and always enjoyed them. I haven’t been keeping up with him lately and did not know of his illness. Thank you for a beautiful tribute.

  4. Yours is such a warm and caring tribute to a dear friend. I’m sorry for your loss. I watched my mother struggle for 11 years with COPD and it was very hard indeed to see what it did to her. Also, a dear cousin died a few years ago from pulmonary fibrosis. These are tough diseases to live with. I try to be thankful every day for every breath I take. Peace.

  5. I had come to know Wayne, but not as well as you. His passing is sad and I’m thankful for your tribute to him. Life IS precious and loss is a hard reminder of just how precious it is.

  6. What a lovely post and tribute to your dear friend. I know how you feel about forging friendships through blog with people you have never met but share your passions. I am beginning to have those myself and I feel very fortunate for it. It has been a beautiful thing. I am happy that you had this opportunity with your friend. You have my condolences.

  7. This was a loving tribute to Wayne, Ingrid, and well done. I have lost a few blogging friends over the past few years, too. We become close and connected with our cyber friends; they influence us, make us laugh, enter our thoughts randomly. And we experience grief and loss when they pass, but there is no memorial in which to connect with them. I think a post tribute is a wonderful way to express your love. My best to you, your husband, and Wayne’s family.

  8. Ingrid I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your friend. Your post is beautifully written and really resonated with me. As we travel through this blog world I too have made such good friends virtually and I consider you one of those special people. My heartfelt sympathy Ingrid. Sending hugs, albeit virtual, across the miles.

  9. So sorry to hear the loss of your dear friend. A beautifully written piece though. I, too, have made wonderful friends in the blogging world. The support and kindness that people show has taken me my surprise and I treasure it.

  10. It is wonderful how we all seem to know each other and support one another – despite not knowing each other as we would folks from our home town or neighborhood. I’ve picked up on things I notice from other bloggers – their style and their activity and I say prayers and keep them in my thoughts – it’s a community and we all care.

  11. What a lovely tribute and it is a testimony to the fact that you don’t have to have a face to face meeting to form a strong bond. My mother had COPD also and my last hospice patient as well. It’s hard to watch someone struggle for their breath. Thank goodness for hospice and the ability to freely administer pain medications to ease the transition from one life into the next.

  12. Dear Ingrid, this is such a heartfelt tribute to your dear friend. My sympathies to Rhonda and all who knew and loved Wayne. Your title says it all, “Losses are never easy. “

  13. This is one fine tribute Ingrid, to one of our never seen friends in blogosphere. I too have not met Wayne but he helped hook us up with the camp host in Missouri. What a great guy. We mourn his passing and we are reminded of our own mortality.
    My heart goes out to Rhonda and his family.

  14. So sorry, Ingrid. What a nice tribute you wrote for him. There are several other bloggers that I consider friends even though we haven’t yet met in person – it’s certainly easy to develop a close relationship with someone, even if it’s just over email. My condolences to his family.

  15. My Sister died of pneumonia. It was so hard to see her unable to breathe. Something we all take for granted most of the time.

    On a happier note, I really like your photo of a dragon fly. Your post is a wonderful tribute to your friend. Enjoy your time with those you love, because the future is not guaranteed.

  16. A nicely written tribute Ingrid, it is amazing how these people we have never met become very close friends. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Al, and Wayne’s family.

  17. Ingrid, this is such a beautiful tribute to your friend Wayne. I too, have been surprised at the friendships developed through blogging. Although there are many we will never meet in person, it does not lesson the strength of the relationships formed. Through the sharing of our stories, our life experiences, our joys & our heartaches, we form strong bonds with each other & lasting precious friendships. Wishing you a peaceful heart in the days to come.

  18. I was also quite surprised to learn of Wayne’s passing. His last post was so upbeat and discussed their future plans. It is interesting how deep cyper friendship can develop. I gues it takes us back to the pen pal days!! How nice that you got to know Wayne and his wife on a more personal level through your emails:) Beautiful post, Ingrid! Looking forward to seeing you real soon:)

  19. Thank you for this beautiful tribute to your good cyber friend! It is amazing how close we can become just via the internet! I’ve done the same. And thank you for sharing your food blog…how have I missed this for so long?
    Debbie

  20. Well said. People cross our paths for a reason. It is not for us to question why but only to cherish the moments. Friends are friends of the heart so no matter whether we have ever met…it is the connection that is important. Sorry for your loss and God Bless. Your friend has gone home to Heavenly Father………

  21. I’m so sorry to hear this news. Your tribute was truly lovely. My opinion is that there are only friends, and once a connection is made, it makes no difference to me if we ever meet f2f or not. Meeting is a big bonus, but the friendship is there regardless. So, I am very sorry on the loss of your dear friend today. Hugs to you sweet lady! ❤

  22. What a lovely testimonial to life, health, beauty, love and friendship. How fortunate we are to have whatever share of each we have in our lives. Thank you for so graciously honoring the passing of one of our own, Ingrid.

  23. Our sympathies go out to you and Al at the loss of a friend..and his family. Sometimes this is a wake up call to me…live every moment and quit complaining about our “little” problems..We have lost several to lung cancer here..nothing worse than not being able to get a deep breath..My Dad was never diagnosed, but I’m sure he had COPD also…hugs.

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