Dear Amazon Forum Friends,

Long long ago and in a land far far away I stumbled into a rabbit hole full of delightful misfits and smartasses, wise folk and wits, and wacky and wonderful hooligans. My life would never be the same.

It was the summer of 2007. I was checking out my book on Amazon and saw that there were discussion forums listed at the bottom of the page. I clicked on one of the links and found a land full of rousing and intriguing conversations about Big Ideas – it was just like being back in university again. We talked about God and Nogod and The Bible and world leaders and policies and policy-makers and writers and books. As we bounced ideas off each other – shared and listened, debated and learned from each other – and laughed! – we built bonds of friendship and kinship that have lasted to this day.

As time goes on, I’ve come to realize just how valuable and important that time in the Amazon forums was for me. I learned so much from my Amazon friends!

A good chunk of my Facebook friends are friends from the Amazon forums. And a lot of them have become friends to my other friends, too! And I’ve become friends to THEIR friends and family. The ripples keep extending.

In the last few years we’ve begun to lose some of our Amazon classmates. Randy Kercher died unexpectedly in 2017. Dean Wrzeszcz died of COVID-19 in April. I feel like I’ve lost family.

And I guess Randy’s death and Dean’s death have given me a sense of urgency about letting my Amazon friends know how important they are to me. How much I love them. How grateful I am to have met them. We shared a unique and wonderful time together. My theistic heart believes we were meant to meet there and meant to be friends. Look at all we’ve come through together in the last 13 years! I’ve felt your support through the challenging times. I’ve been so grateful for your humor on those days when I really needed a good laugh. I’ve been so grateful for your wisdom on those days when I needed a new perspective. I can’t imagine my life now without you in it.

Thank you, dear friends.

(Through the years I’ve actually been able to meet some of my Amazon friends in the person: Kathi and Jamie in Nova Scotia; Marissa in Minnesota; Becky in Virginia; David in Michigan; and Allen, and Heather and her family, Craig and his wife, and Marissa and her husband, David and his family, and Sandy and her husband, have all taken the time to meet up with me in western Washington State. What a joy!)

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