A Blog Meet-Up Come True

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?

Oh, my.

My daughters Audrey and Jane were saying, “Just write what you feel.  Be yourself.  Write for yourself.”

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…

Nancy, me, Rhonda

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SHOWHIDE Comments (10)
  1. Bawling. So choked up over this because it is that special and that real and that true. Thank you Sharon for opening your heart to us and letting your beauty, warmth and friendship shine so brightly in.

    I know my mom will never forget that day with you and Nancy. For that I am so grateful more than you can know. What a gift.

    Love always,
    Steph

  2. Bawling, Sobbing, my tears are flowing like a river. I feel so honored that you put me so high on a pedestal. Steph is so right in saying you are so real and you do shine. When I saw you walk into the restaurant, it was like the sun burst into that place. I don’t think I was that excited when I saw Elvis Presley in concert. Blogging did open up a whole new world for me. Who needs to pay a therapist when you are down, when you have Sharon and Nancy’s blogs to read. You helped me thru some very tough times and for that I am so truly thankful. I love you like a sister and can’t wait to see what the future holds for us. Steph and I were talking and we are looking forward to seeing New York City for the first time some day. We want you, Audrey and Jane to be our guides.

  3. I have reread this four times. Every time, I feel this little part of my heart grow warmer and warmer and the tears fall just a little faster. I still can’t believe that it really happened on Sunday. It was truly a dream come true and a day that I will hold close in my heart forever. Who would have ever guessed that three “older” girls like us could meet like we did and form a bond like we have. I love you Sharon and Rhonda. Thank you both for being my friends.
    p.s. I have written and rewritten my post four times now. I want it to be perfect, just like you two. I promise it will be up in the next day or two.

  4. Tears!! I know Rhonda and Nancy are like sisters to you… the unconditional love and support and admiration you all have for each other is so inspiring and real. When you said you were taking a trip to the Midwest, I knew your heart was so hopeful to be able to meet those two wonderful women in person finally. I can’t put into words how happy this post made me. Rhonda and Nancy, thank you for being the sisters my mother never had! I hope you plan that trip to NYC soon so I can hug you both in person, too! xxoo

  5. This is so wonderful and proves what a wonderful blogging community we have. I am so glad you had this beautiful opportunity Sharon!

    I can’t wait till I get to meet Rhonda for the first time one day too!

  6. I am stopping over through Nancy’s blog…How wonderful that you all were able to spend some time together! I look forward to my first meeting with blog friends :o) How awesome it is to have the friendships that without blogging, may not have been possible. :o)

    Blessings & Aloha!