Somehow or other - and I honestly don't remember the details - I "met up" with an old university friend over the internet. I think that Judy happened to read my blog and commented on it and we went from there. It turned out that Facebook was a good place for the two of us to interact.
Judy was one of the first people I met when I went to university and we were friends throughout the four years. We both sang in the chapel choir and we were both Theology majors. I was her Maid of Honor when she and Mike got married in the university chapel a year or two after university. Somehow, after the wedding, we drifted away and then, not so long ago (18 months? two years?) we reconnected.
It turned out to be one of those friendships where you just pick up where you left off with very little self-consciousness. I was amazed at how in-synch we still were. When we were in university in the 1970s, we both envisaged the day when women would be accepted in ministry. And both of us ended up "going into ministry" in middle-age. Because she was Roman Catholic, Judy took her M.Div. and became a Chaplain; I eventually ended up as a Methodist minister.
Facebook turned out to be a good venue for the two of us because we just interacted daily with each other, usually in trivial matters but sometimes in bigger matters. We played Farmville and Cafe World and together we righted the wrongs of the world in our status updates. When we wanted to "talk privately" we sent each other emails, but a lot of the interaction was banter.
We also talked on the phone a couple of times. Judy had been battling cancer since I'd met her again and, at one point, she talked about seeking quality of life rather than quantity. Well, as much as you can do whilst battling cancer, Judy got her quality over quantity, dying suddenly and unexpectedly on the 21st of March.
And, if I'm being brutally honest, I miss her all the more for having that several-times-a-day contact with her and all the little banterings. The last thing she wrote on my status update was in response to me being pleased about getting a product to review on "Amazon Prime" for the first time. She wrote "I'm so very glad for you" and I was going to respond that that seemed like a big emotion for such a small thing. But I didn't and now I guess I'm probably glad that I didn't; it's good to be happy for others, no matter how trivial the matter and I'm glad I didn't diminish that.
Judy also wrote something else a few weeks before she died and I'm using that on my signature in a Christian forum. She wrote: "People waste so much of their lives on hate and fear." Truer words were never written.
I know that we both shared the hope of Christ's resurrection for ourselves and I know that we will share in his presence for eternity. But this isn't really supposed to be a theological piece, just some thoughts about missing my cyber-friend and real life friend. May Judy rest in peace and rise in Glory.