Social media is weird, y’all. It’s tribal and loud and angry and strange, and it’s easy for peaceful, fun interactions to turn suddenly hurtful and frustrating. You have to develop a bit of thick skin and expect to be misunderstood and misrepresented from time to time. It’s easy to become jaded and cynical in your social media interactions.
I don’t remember how I “met” Donna G. No doubt, she found me or I found her through a mutual Twitter follow, but somehow, we were connected. I don’t know much about her. She loves her kids (grandkids?). She loves her Florida Gators. And she was a genuinely kind person.
She constantly tagged people in #FollowFriday posts, and would pull you into group-tweets with 15 or so people to wish you a “Happy Wednesday!” (Have you ever been part of a neverending “Stop-replying-all!” email thread? It’s a little like that.) I have to admit, there were times that I would get a little annoyed when my Twitter mentions would blow up because Donna tagged me on one of those threads, but I never once asked her to stop. I always appreciated it. And I would always try to respond to her (and to her only!) to say thanks.
Donna often asked about my daughter and even asked for pictures. That would be weird, normally, coming from someone I’ve never met. But it made sense coming from Donna. She was like a sweet aunt you don’t ever get to visit, but who tries to stay in touch. So I would DM her a pic now and then of me and my toddler, and she would ooh and aah over how cute she is or how big she’s getting.
Donna’s whole persona, her whole thing on Twitter, was “The Kindness Ninja.” No matter what was going on, you could always count on Donna to share a word of Scripture, an encouragement, a funny GIF, or just a “Have a great day!” She was a singular figure, a bright light in a very hazy medium.
I found out tonight that Donna passed away. I don’t know the circumstances (not sure if she had some sort of lingering illness or if it was sudden). But I have to admit, it’s really hitting me for some reason.
Tomorrow has been declared a Day of Mourning in Texas for the passing of the late President George H.W. Bush. Well, meaning no disrespect to the president, I’ll be mourning the loss of Donna.
I never had the privilege of meeting her in this life. I honestly don’t think I could pick her photo out of a line-up. But her sweet heart, her shining kindness, was and is unmistakable.
Enjoy your reward, Donna. Drink deep of the joy of your Master, and rejoice before Him. One bright day, beyond the River, I look forward to hugging your neck and introducing you to my family.
Thank you, dear Donna, for your kindness. In your daily graces, you have blessed and changed so many of us. We thank God for you.