robquit and tielji by tielji
robquit and tielji, a photo by tielji on Flickr.

You all know (well, some of you know) that I quit smoking using the Quitnet.com.

Internet-ANYthing is such a great sociological experiment, but an internet support system for kicking an addiction is another animal altogether. It is very intense. I think it is due to the power of the written word, but also because of the (sometimes false) sense of knowing other people very intimately because you communicate so often.

I have met the finest people on the world wide web. And most of them I met on the Q.

Often the Q will have a huge get-together where people from all over the world will come meet each other in person. These days, meetings like this are called conventions and are not very out of the ordinary. But 4 years ago it was still pretty shaky. Our friends and family were nervous for our safety and questioning our sanity. I mean, really! Who flies (or drives) thousands of miles to hang out with total strangers for the weekend for no other reason except to connect a face to a screen name?

At one such get-together, we all gathered in Chicago. (What a wonderful place!) I road-tripped with my Q-Bud Taceon, stayed in NE with another Q-Bud Courtne, and saw all of Chicago's finest tourist spots with Brnhiker and Spmozart - all people that I would have never known if not for the Q.

And amongst the 100 or so beloved strangers I was blessed to meet, there was RobQuit. Yes, I got to meet RobQuit in Chicago.

What a handsome devil. What a Q legend. What an amazing man, husband and father. What a fabulous friend.

He became my most precious penpal and support from afar - through my divorce, through my dating, through my life ills, and child raising disasters - he was there.

But now he isn't.

And he won't ever be there again.

Rob passed away this morning. From cancer.

It isn't fair.

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