Remembering a Book Lover

A long time ago in internet years, in what almost seems another internet galaxy for it was a time before blogs, I met another book lover online. We frequented the same communities and message boards. Her name was Skeeterbess.

Like so many of my online friends, Skeeter was older than I was. Old enough to be my mother, though that was not a topic we chose to discuss. No, Skeeter and I spoke mostly of the mundane daily grind as we shared our lives online. There were two topics that always pulled us out of that and they were books and food.

Skeeter was the first really dedicated Bookcrosser that I had ever met. She inspired me to release a few books into the wild. I had fun tracing where both of our books turned up. I enjoyed speaking with her about books, no matter if we were disagreeing about The Moonstone (she liked it, I didn't) or how I kept talking about elusive Canadian books that she could not find in Hawaii (I sent her some).

On Monday morning I found out that I would not be having any more of those conversations with Skeeter. I received a message telling me that I needed to go to Facebook and that I should be prepared to see some really bad news. When I did finally get Facebook to load on my phone I saw the news that my friend Skeeter had died. I promptly sat down on a bench in the middle of New York and had myself a good cry.

Last week, before I left for New York, she had posted she wasn't feeling well. I hoped in my head that she would feel better soon and thought to myself, as I often do, that I really ought to send her message. I wanted to confirm her address and send her a book later this month from a Canadian author that I knew she'd enjoy. But I didn't send that message. And now I won't be able to.

I'm angry about that. I am angry that my friend is gone. I am angry that I too often thought of her and forgot that she couldn't read my thoughts and therefore didn't know that I was thinking of her. I am angry that I was not a better friend.

And I am sad. Heartbroken, really.

Tell your friends you love them. Send that email to that person you've been thinking about.

Goodbye Skeeter. I miss you. I hope you knew that you were always in my heart.