Images by John 'K'

Life as seen through my lens…

To My Friends…

I work in a small group of very dedicated individuals. They all are very family focused people, and so while we all mix well at work, we tend not to mix much outside of it. At home I have my wife and kids. I’ve said much about them already. I love them all dearly and more than I could ever say, but my teenage daughters are busy trying to establish their own identities and have their own lives, and my wife is busy trying to get involved in things outside of the home, and of course my remaining family members are back in England with an 8-hour time difference between us. As such, there are times I find myself needing someone outside of the family or the workplace to talk to.
 
As a result of leaving many friends, colleagues, and family back in England nearly 2 years ago, I branched out though an on-line ‘community’ of folks all interested in online gaming and made many contacts. Over time, a number of these contacts have become friends, and some have become very good friends. Most of these friends I have yet to meet face to face. I probably never will, but through on-line forums, instant messages, web based audio conferencing software and the like, I have grown to know these people and they me. While spread geographically all over the continent and beyond, through the use of the Internet we feel a bond through a shared enjoyment of a hobby, but in may cases our friendship has gone far beyond that.
 
There’s the usual bunch of folks in the IT industry who you would associate with such an online ‘community’, but then there are elementary school teachers, social workers, safety officers, schoolkids and college students, nurses, people struggling to make a new life in a new state with their family after having to leave everything they know and love behind. There are many military folks, a number of which are currently deployed in various locations around the world serving their country (and my prayers are with them). There are retired college professors, parents, husbands and wives. All good, decent, caring people, some struggling with various demons, some working through relationship issues, some seeking guidance at critical turning points in their lives, but all seeking in some way to help one another.
 
To all of these folks that I think of as ‘friend’ I would simply like to say Thank You. Thank you for giving me someone to talk to when I would otherwise face silence. Thank you for being someone who listens when I need to let off steam about something. Thank you for helping me see other sides to problems I’ve faced, and thank you for your companionship and humor. To any of my Friends who read this, know that your friendship is valued much more than a few nicely written words could ever describe, and know that if there is anything I can do to help you with your own problems or issues, you only have to ask.
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