I'm not sure what it says about me, but I completely understood everything you said in your post.
I have people that I have never met from this board and many other diverse internet message boards that I consider to be friends.
I sometimes find myself in conversations where I say something like, "My friend from England, New Zealand, or Wyoming, said that he/she blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah."
I mean it sincerely when I call those folks friends.
That is one of the blessings and bounties that we received from the internet. For better or for worse it brings everybody who can access it a little closer together.
I'm in no position to actually go visit Snipe right now. But I really do hope and pray that someone who is reading this post and that can visit him passes on my good wishes and regards.