So many of our PCLinuxOS family members live literally with a few hours of each other, but so few of us have ever met in person. The only PCLinuxOS users that I have ever met are those that I convinced to give PCLinuxOS a try. And I already knew them, personally. I already considered them friends. Outside of my immediate family that lives in my own home, that number is quite low. I try to not be that annoying, evangelistic PCLinuxOS "preacher." But, if I see a situation where PCLinuxOS can help, I'm quick to make the suggestion that they at least give the Live media a try.
The PCLinuxOS family is unique in its friendliness and helpfulness. Over time, many of us make "friends" with other PCLinuxOS users from all around the globe. I know I consider many PCLinuxOS users friends from all corners of the globe: England, Ireland, Germany, China, Thailand, South Africa, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, France, Greece, Poland, Netherlands, and of course, the U.S. I'm sure there are other countries harboring PCLinuxOS users that I missed, but that list is just off of the top of my head.
Life happens, and people come and go. That's just normal. But others stay and stay, and those bonds strengthen over the years. And yet, despite those bonds, they never meet, face-to-face. Often times, it's logistically impractical to ever meet. They may live on another continent, separated by a vast ocean. At other times, it may be political divisions that prevent "friends" from ever meeting.
But when you live only hours away, it's exceptionally sad to never meet those with whom you share a special bond face-to-face. Years and years have been invested in developing those bonds of friendship, yet a few measly hours prevent ever meeting up face-to-face.
The recent and unexpected death of our beloved PCLinuxOS family member Sproggy has brought this thought front and center in my mind. Sproggy and I shared that special friendship bond. However, logistically, I think we both knew how improbable it was that we'd ever be able to meet up. The vast Atlantic Ocean separated us, with him living in the U.K., and me in the U.S. Still, we made plans for the day when we would finally be able to meet up. But the distance never deterred us from wishing, hoping, and making those plans. Now, with his passing, those plans will forever remain just unfulfilled wishes and hopes. With all of the time we spent talking and working together, I feel as if I *know* his wife and kids. I know many of the trials, tribulations and troubles he faced. I even knew he was 5' 10" (178 cm) tall, and weighed around 220 pounds (99.8 Kg). He also "knew" my wife and kids, as well as many of the trials, tribulations and troubles I've stared down.
There is a point where someone who is "just another user" becomes more than that. They become friends. They become part of your extended family. They enhance your very being. The sum is greater than the individual parts. Over the years, you both develop that special bond with one another.
There are many around the PCLinuxOS family, past and present, that I'd love to meet up with. I'd love to share tacos and a beer with Tex. I'd love to accompany ms_meme on one of her daily strolls. I'd love to meet up with Meemaw for a nice lunch over some awesome Kansas City BBQ. I'd like to hang out with Crow, so he could show me those beautiful sights in Mexico and some local, authentic Mexican food.
seems like he'd be a blast to hang out with and throw back a pint. I'd love to visit with Rudge and JRex, and swap recipes. Mr Cranky Pants-YouCanToo would be great to do the same thing with. Joechimp would be fun to visit with or hang out with, no matter the situation. I wonder if Old-Polack's speech is as colorful as his posts. In fact, there are a lot of you that I would love to meet up with, so my apologies if I didn't list you. You're probably on the list, but I don't have room here to list all of you.
So, if there's that PCLinuxOS family member that you've developed that special bond and friendship with, by all means, make every attempt to meet them. If you live in a big city, look for other PCLinuxOS users in your area. Meet them for a cup of coffee at a coffee shop, or even at a fast food restaurant. You could even make it a monthly or weekly event. But, if only a few hours separate you, there really is no excuse to meet at least once. There are things that simply cannot be conveyed online.
Until next month, I bid you peace, happiness, serenity and prosperity.