I have a dear friend who lives “across the pond”. We’ve never met in person (or even virtually) because we met on theforce.net fanfic forums 15 years ago. Back then we were both under the spell of Revenge of the Sith and spinning tales about Obi-Wan and Anakin, while chatting regularly about our lives as we helped each other grow as writers.

We’ve both moved on from that site long ago and we no longer stay in touch with any kind of regularity, but on each of our birthdays we write each other a long email and catch each other up. It’s not even something we decided to do in any official way, which is what makes it even more special.

We ask about each other’s family, we talk about our work and if we’re still writing. It’s always a little mix of happy news and a little about the struggles. As we go into middle age (we’re the same age) the stories change. Her oldest just graduated law school, I finally found a job I love, we’re both feeling our bodies start to ache in new and interesting ways.

It’s one of my favorite things in my life, that we still have this connection, still care about each other. If we met in person, it would be hard to get us to stop talking and sharing. We also expect nothing more of the other and even the birthday emails continue to be an amazing surprise and catch me off guard.

Oh yes, I remember you, you are my dear friend, I can’t wait to hear how you are.