Like I've said before, I live in a small town.
Johnny Mellencamp, little pink houses, small.
It may be small, but the power of a close-knit group of people never ceases to amaze me here in this same small town that I grew up in, that I learned to ride a bike in, that I first kissed a boy in.
When a high school friend's child was diagnosed with a medical condition, people rallied. They supported, they gave, they gathered. When a loved one is lost, it is not just felt by one - but by many. We support, we give, we gather.
I was in the grocery store yesterday morning, picking up the usual, when I saw the ancient friend of my Grandma Dorie, who passed away last month. Now, this lady is a local icon. Her family has written a book on our area's history and she is serving or has served on just about every board position that exists around here. She gives and has always given of her time and herself to this town, these people, this community.
I said hello and reminded her that I was my mother's daughter, knowing she'd recognize me if I did. I gave her a hug and patted my daughter's head, explaining that this lady was a very good friend of Grandma Dorie.
And she opened up.
She told me about a talk she'd just given at the hospital to all the board members and executives (who else to stand at attention and listen to a legend speak?) about Dorie's experience. She discussed the love, care and support that surrounded her and her family during that time and the aftermath of it all in the days and weeks to follow.
She told me about her book club and that she'd be playing bridge this week with "the ladies." And then we said our goodbyes.
And it's hard to describe the feeling of connecting through death. Last year I might have just passed by with a smile, possibly a "hello," but I most certainly would not have taken the time to stop, explain who I was and how I knew this person, and discuss everything but the weather...even if I had all the time in the world. But all that is changed now.
When I read on facebook yesterday that a blogging friend (one whom I've never met but who always leaves me hilarious comments over there in facebookland and whom I've come to admire, respect and virtually grope over the Internet) had suffered a stroke, I immediately clicked over to twitter (where the blogging moms reside in full force and comprise most of what I "follow" over there - well besides my kids' school website and the local news...and Ellen, but anyway) and learned as much as I could. I retweeted the positive thoughts, the #prayersforanissa, and sent as much good as I could into my computer screen. I did the most I could from where I was, for this friend I've never met. For Anissa.
Because we live in the same small town as one another. A town called "Mommy Blogging." And even though I never intended to place myself in that peg, accept that label, resign myself to only one group - that is where I live and a "mommy blogger" is what I am. And just like the town in which I plant my footsteps every single day, my community needs me. It needs me and you and you too. Not unlike a supportive bra (this reference is totally for you Anissa) the mommy blogging community needs it's underwire.
There are several ways you can help, please click on the LINK.
Because it's what we do. We rally, we give, we gather.
Just like in real life.