She and I belong to a certain club, we had sometimes gone out or eaten out together before, we even enjoyed a short overseas trip once. She has a very different background from mine so it was interesting to talk with her about books and movies etc. But when there was some misunderstanding between us about 7 years ago I couldn't overcome the understanding gap, since then I haven't met her or seldom written to her though I've sometimes heard about her from our mutual friends.
When we were close she happened to get seriously ill, nobody knew why, her disease is MS (multiple sclerosis) for which there is no known cure and of course this disease made her life quite difficult. We had managed to meet when she felt good, her disease had nothing to do with our misunderstanding. During the time I haven't met her our mutual friend sometimes told me how she was, it seemed that her condition had not changed better.
And now she contacted me again, asked me to become her "friend" on some networking system. I visited her web journal yesterday and read the recent posts. It seems that she has had difficult time these years because of her disease, and I could see that she had found many new friends who were also suffering from MS - it's quite natural that she feels more comfortable with them. It's not easy to know how to write to her - I don't want to send her superficial sympathy nor cheap encouragement but pretending not to know anything about her disease is also nonsense.
Anyway, I think that how fortunate I am - compared to her suffering from the illness without any reason. She must have had changed the plan for her whole life, might given up some of her dreams. I really should thank for my good fortune, having these peaceful days...