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Sometimes, especially right now, an exercise like this makes me feel guilty.  Even with the little aggravations in my world, they are not the types of things that keep me down.

I have a friend who is struggling.  Not just the kind of struggle that comes from being out of work or losing your home…I’m talking about the type of struggle that comes when everything inside has gone black, when there is no hope and no clear path.

I have seen this before.  I’ve watched loved ones lose their way and I’ve watched them give up.  It is wrenching, and it leaves me breathless in my helplessness.  The control freak in me resists, trying to think of anything that I can do to MAKE that person pick up again and keep going.  I beg.  I plead.  I cajole and tease. 

Sometimes, it’s just not enough.

It’s bad enough when you can be face to face with a person and still can’t get them to understand how big a hole they would leave if they quit…when you can sit in a dark apartment and beg them to get help.  It’s even worse when a person is far away and you can’t take their hand, look them in the eye and tell them that you care. 

When you’re only contact has been in emails or online, it’s a tenuous grasp, at best.  It’s a fragile strand, and some may say that I’m being presumptuous.  After all…what do I really know of this person, other than the written words?  Anyone can write whatever they want…who’s to say that those words are real?  I prefer to think that I have been given a gift…a gift of friendship that I would otherwise have missed out on without things like Twitter or Facebook. 

It is personal, it is heartbreaking and it is awful to watch from afar.

Today, I’m grateful for the very delicate web that we’ve spun here, that allows me to try, one more time, to reach that friend.  To him, I say, “I am grateful for you.  I am here.”

I’m participating in #30daysofThanks, inspired by my friend, Amanda, over at www.memydogsmylife.com. We are finding one thing each day in November to be grateful for. Join in! Just use the tag #30daysofThanks and blog or Tweet your daily item.

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