Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The sad side of social networking

Facebook was fun.

Though I haven't been the most devoted of posters, in the span of a few weeks, I was able to:

-- Get instant access to photos of my niece and nephews in Indianapolis, a blessing since we see them only once or twice a year.

-- Reconnect with an old co-worker from my D.C. days, who told me he's now married to his longtime girlfriend (though, back then, they said they never would take that step), he had to bid farewell to two of the greatest cats to walk the planet, and he heard some juicy tidbits about a former colleague who seems not to have tempered her crazy dating ways.

-- Track down a friend from junior/senior high who honestly looks like she hasn't aged a bit, and one of my college roommates, who's married with kids now, too.

But tracking down Patty from college is also how I found out about Maureen, a girl I lived with my senior year at the University of Dayton.

That's when Facebook stopped being quite so much fun.

Maureen and I didn't have much in common except for Patty -- and a shared living space, of course. She was a year behind me, and we got along fine. We just didn't click, and so didn't keep in touch after I graduated.

But Maureen was always there for you with an offer of help. She told jokes all the time, and she was always happy-go-lucky when you needed a laugh.

While responding to Patty's message last week, I followed a link to something called Mission4Maureen.

I found out that Maureen died about four years ago after a long battle with brain cancer.

She was only 34. She left behind a husband, three children, and family and friends who still grieve over her loss.

Mission4Maureen is the charity her family started to help others diagnosed with brain cancer pay for medical treatment. It was one of her wishes, fitting for someone who cared so much about others.

Farewell, Maureen. I regret I had to learn about your battle this way.


Anonymous said...

Oh.. wow! that's really sad. Yes, Facebook is fun but I know what you mean. You have to admit that the world will never be the same now that these sites are here. This next generation won't have that 15 year gap of not talking to someone and then suddenly....hey!

Lydia said...

But now you know, and you are actually participating in her life, by honoring her memory.