Friday, November 7, 2014

The benefit of Facebook

There are a lot of annoying things about Facebook. But I've always maintained that the benefits outweigh the negatives. Sometimes it's my news source, it's how I stay connected with my training groups, I can easily keep up to date with friends and family, and we get to share a lot of pretty awesome things.

I had an epiphany this morning about a huge positive regarding Facebook. It can connect us with people that we may otherwise not have connected to, and their impact on our lives may be considerable.

On October 22, an old classmate of mine, Melissa, passed away from cancer. She and I were not close in school and hadn't seen each other since high school. But we connected on Facebook in recent years, as many of us do with our old classmates. Her struggle with Stage 4 cancer was well documented by her, and it was a huge struggle. Melissa was a single mother with two boys, one grown and one still very young.

Despite the daily pain and burden she felt dealing with the physical and emotional toll the cancer was taking on her, EVERY SINGLE post displayed an optimism and selflessness that I don't think I have ever witnessed in anyone else. She was a fighter and a damn strong one. No matter how many times the cancer knocked her down, she brushed it off as being "just for a season" and that she would continue to fight. If any of us was struggling, she was right there for you, saying prayers and offering encouragement. She would ask people to give her things to pray for.

She continues to remind me, after her death, that no matter what is going on in our lives, we are strong enough to get through it and there is always a positive to find in the midst of the struggle.

I wouldn't have connected with Melissa, and she wouldn't have had this impact on my heart, if it wasn't for Facebook. I'm a better person after being touched by her struggle. I don't want to forget the lessons she has taught me.

I dearly miss her daily posts. We need more Melissas in our world.

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