Women talk about all kinds of things with each other…
Women have gathered together throughout all history and across all cultures to talk. To share. To ask and to explain. To ease worries and to give comfort. To whisper secrets and I hesitate to use this word, but gossip. To laugh and giggle and sometimes cry.
We talk about fashion, hair, bad hair. We talk about food, calories, fitness, bodies. We talk about boys, then boys, then *men! We talk about all things babies… having babies, trying to have babies, should-I-have-another-baby. We talk about kids and schools and teachers. We talk about sisters, brothers, mothers & fathers. We talk about things that only women know… because our bodies do different things than men’s bodies do.
We used to talk over-the-fence or while sitting on the stoop. We used to talk while perching our telephones on our shoulders while carrying our babies and folding laundry… simultaneously.
We knew each others’ voices and could tell in just one syllable how our girlfriends felt.
Then came the internet. And with it, came BLOGS.
This wildly new and exciting thing seemed an easy transition for young women, but it left some of us older gals feeling a bit intimidated. I, for one, was the latter.
As I watched my daughters maneuver through the BLOG world… then attend meet-ups and far-away conferences with women they knew only from their words on their BLOGS… I hesitantly began to tiptoe in.
Slightly. Slowly. Carefully. Tentative. Frightened, even.
Who cares what I have to say? Who will come? What do I even have to say?
Who are these women? How do they all know how to do this BLOG thing?
And I did.
At the beginning, almost 4 years ago, I “met” one wonderful young woman through my daughters… Stephanie Precourt at Adventures in Babywearing. Stephanie and Audrey each had 3 little boys back then… quite the awesome common denominator! (Both Audrey and Steph would have 4th babies… Audrey a boy, Henry, and Steph a girl, Ivy!) I loved reading Steph’s blog, always rich with fun, creativity, love and real-life.
Steph lived in the midwest, but through her blog I “met” friends on-line. I laughed with these young women. I cried with these young women. I read their words and they transported me back to my own young motherhood, filled with diapers, work, bottles and breast-feeding, elementary school, new homes, husbands, new babies…
… and I loved this world.
Then one day… I don’t remember the exact day… I discovered that Steph had a Mom on-line, a Mom named Rhonda with a Blog called Mimi’s Toes. And through Rhonda, I “met” Nancy, with a Blog called Bacardi Mama.
Rhonda and Nancy are grandmothers, like me. We have 18 grandchildren among us! Rhonda and Nancy are Moms of adult children, like me. Rhonda and Nancy are funny, fun, beautiful, brilliant, wise, active mothers and grandmothers… and as I read their Blogs day after day, month after month, and we shared everything women share, I literally felt LOVE grow among us. FRIEND LOVE.
But how can this be? We shared nothing but words. But oh how powerful those words became. We welcomed Nancy’s first grandson, we celebrated family birthdays and graduations, we saw photos of each others’ grandchildren as they began school, wore a perfect new outfit, got a haircut, became a princess or accomplished the awesome. We shared struggles with staying in the fitness arena. We went on vacation with each other through photographs.
And we and we went through the unimaginable heartache of Rhonda’s Dad’s passing. Just last week Rhonda lost her beloved dog Penny… and knowing this terrible pain, I wanted to hug her. Tight. Knowing. We’ve realized our own mortality through our Blogs. We struggle together with the aging of our own Moms. We know that we belong to a club that we never wanted or asked to be a member of… as we all have lost our loving, caring, beautiful Dads.
So many, many times over the past couple of years I’ve wanted to reach into Rhonda or Nancy’s Blog and hug them because I love them… I know them. I often laughed out loud at what they wrote. I cried, too. I hadn’t even heard either speak… but my heart was theirs in all the good times and in the sad times, too.
Then came this past Sunday.
Barry and I had a little trip planned for the Notre Dame/Boston College football game (another blog post all by itself!!)… and we decided to see Chicago (yet another blog post!!) while we were out there in the midwest. BUT WHAT I REALLY, REALLY DREAMED WAS TO SEE MY BLOG FRIENDS RHONDA & NANCY. IN PERSON…
A Blog Meet-Up. The most awesome Blog Meet-Up in the world. Not 100’s or 1,000’s of Bloggers. Just us!
And it happened! Nancy planned the brunch in Valparaiso, IN in the most lovely restaurant… and when Barry and I walked in, there was Rhonda… beautiful, beautiful Rhonda! Rhonda is exactly the woman I know from her words! I think we hugged forever.
Then Nancy walked in with her husband, Dick. You couldn’t pry me away from Nancy… beautiful and perfect… just like her words!
And 3 hours later, we were still talking. Me… mesmerized at being with them. These ladies whose words inspire me, ease worries, comfort, explain, make me laugh, giggle and sometimes cry.
Yes, women used to talk over-the-fence, while sitting on the stoop or while perching a telephone on our shoulders… but Rhonda, Nancy and I found each other on-line! How amazing is this? This connection, this friendship, these parallel lives, this LOVE!
I had a giant dream-come-true this past Sunday… a dream that would have been impossible in our younger years! Oh, the power of words. The power of the internet. The power of Blogs. The power and miracle of friendship and love!
I’m still pinching myself!
*I must give a shout-out to Dick and Barry for being such good sports at our Blog Meet-Up come true… and of course to Steph for gifting me with her Mom!