Last week I did a Facebook purge of 600ish people. The goal was 1000 but a man named Dave made that impossible.
Dave had been on my friends list for a few years (I assume) and we went to high school together. Except I didn't know that when I decided to defriend him. All I knew was that I didn't recognize the guy, his name didn't ring a bell, and we had never once corresponded on Facebook. So he got the cyber boot along with so many others.
The next day, Dave and I ended up sitting across from another for a meal at State & Main with our mutual friends, Emma and Melissa.
Throughout dinner Dave kept us all laughing with his highly inappropriate sense of humour. I liked him.
When the girls told me his full name (and while he was in the bathroom), I checked Facebook to see if he and I were friends on there. We were not.
I soon realized I was dining with an awesome human I had deleted the night before.
Then I thought, no biggie. Maybe he didn't notice my online presence or my recent departure.
I was wrong.
After dinner (and while Melissa and Emma were preoccupied with some others), Dave reached across the table to hold my hand. Without even thinking I put my other hand on top of his as he began to speak.
I had no idea what he was about to express or why a stranger (to me) felt compelled to reach out to me in such a way, and I hardly expected to share such a sweet and pure moment with someone whom I assumed made a joke out of everything, but here I was holding hands with him as he gave me an incredible gift that I will treasure always.
Dave basically hugged my heart with his beautiful words as he shared how much my openness and honesty online has impacted him. He praised me as a mother, as a brave woman, as a pure soul, and as a gift to so many others.
Imagine such a thing. Imagine speaking to someone that you just met and having them describe and honour you so eloquently, so sincerely, so unexpectedly.
Needless to say, I made a new heart friend that night and I sent Dave a friend request before I left the restaurant. I also decided not to unfriend anyone else juuuuuust in case there was another Dave in the mix.
Dave showered me with so much love and appreciation for what I offer online and in the world.
Even sweeter was that Melissa's daughter, Charlotte, heard every word he spoke to me. And then when she and I were sitting beside one another in the car afterwards, she put her hand on her heart and said, "All the feels."
I loved having a witness to one of the most special moments of my life.
And how would I have even known Dave cared that I was on his list unless he shared that with me that night? I would have had no clue whatsoever, obviously.
Ever since I shared that I was moving, and especially ever since I shared that I'm cleaning up my friends list (because I did make it known 1/2 way through so that people who wanted to stay had a chance to let me know), many people took the time to share how my presence online has impacted them.
I think many (not all) people are just so used to me being there, always sharing openly, and just being me, that they enjoy what I offer without making me aware of how I'm making a difference in their day or in their life.
But it helps me to know.
I probably wouldn't have deleted so many people that night if I genuinely thought any of them gained something beautiful from me - like my sweet friend, Dave, did.
So thank you to everyone who has been filling my heart with their previously unspoken appreciation for who I am and what I do in this world.
Many people don't get that gift of being told while they're alive how much others have cared and do care.
Often it's only after a person passes that we say all the things we should have said while that person was still around to hear it.
I am so incredibly honoured to be as loved and treasured as I am by so many people. I didn't know how far my reach was until recently. Until people took the time to let me know.
It makes me feel like a rockstar.
It makes me feel so good about being me.
And what I've always wanted was to be known and loved for exactly who I am. Not for what I do. But for who I really am.
So thank you for loving me for being me.
All my heart,
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