This morning I awoke to a terrible tragedy. My friend Ken Leatherman lost his beloved granddaughter in a horrible accident. Reading the news posted in my Skype by Chris Sutton, I felt as though I had just been forcibly kicked in the chest. It is the worst news that has touched my life in a very long time.
Ken was the most doting grandfather. I used to rib him on Skype about what a softie he was. I have pictures of him and his little Pumpkin Seed. It’s a loss that hits home as much as if it happened to a member in my own family.
And, the strange thing is. I’ve never even met Ken in person. We met online, we chat in the Stumpwoody Holler group, we talk on Skype. We are friends and yet we’ve never met in person. This is the strange bond we form in this new virtual world.
Years ago, my friends were all people I befriended after meeting in person – fellow classmates, co-workers, neighbours. Now, my friends are all around the world.
I’ve been lucky to meet some of my online friends in person. James Allen, Craig Desorcy, James Brown, Stuart Stirling, David McGimpsey, David Moskowitz all live here in Japan and we get together on occasion.
Dr Mani, Kevin Brown, Dee Ferdinand, John Mann are just some of my friends I met in Bali and Singapore. I’m hoping to meet more this summer in London, and hopefully this October in North Carolina.
I hope my friend Ken and I can finally meet face to face. But even if we don’t, he knows I am there for him. At this time, my heart reaches out to the Leatherman family in their time of grief. I only wish they lived nearby so I could help out.