Stella started commenting on my blog way back in late 2005, barely 3 months after I'd started it, and she was always warm, kind and encouraging with her words.
I discovered one of the things we had in common was we both had daughters with Down's Syndrome, but although it sort of acted as a way of introduction, it didn't define our relationship. She began a blog of her own, although it only lasted a few months. She felt guilty at not keeping it going, but was happier commenting on other people's sites rather than writing about her own life.
We connected on Facebook several years back, and periodically I would see her posting photos of her family, but more than anything we played a wee game called Lexulous - a word game very similar to Scrabble.
Pretty much every day then, for the past few years, we've made our moves and left little comments in the chat box. Periodically, though, there would be gaps. She was battling with cancer and there would be times she would disappear for treatment.
I knew it was ongoing, but I hadn't realised things were as advanced as they were. She took her last move a few days ago. Today I saw her son had posted on Facebook that Stella had passed away in her sleep early this morning.
Stella was a lovely woman and I was privileged to know her in that strange way of knowing people online, yet never having met in person.
My heart aches at her passing, and for her family who loved her dearly.