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When Bloggers Meet

Some posts are a lot of work to put together and some are just plain fun to write. This one was just plain fun. A bit of fun is always a good thing, perhaps especially in October, a month many in breast cancer land dread.

I’m not one of them. I still love October.

Since last spring the wonderful Beth Gainer, who blogs at Calling the Shots, and I have been trying to meet up. Since we both are a couple of Midwestern gals (well, actually it turns out Beth is originally from NY) and we live relatively close to one another, we figured it might be nice to meet face-to-face.

So earlier this summer we penciled in a date on our calendars, not entirely sure if things would work out, but hoping for the best. Well, things worked out! We met!

Our get together was wonderful as I expected it would be, but after our meeting I realized something else.

This something else was that not only did Beth and I care that we met, lots of our fellow bloggers (and readers) cared as well.

Of course, I knew they would be happy and I knew they cared, but I discovered they truly cared.

When I pulled over at a rest stop somewhere in southern Wisconsin and checked my smart phone (yes I waited until I pulled over), I noticed there were a whole bunch of good wishes on the Facebook post I had left before leaving my house that morning on which I had mentioned Beth and I were meeting that day.

I realized others were excited about this meeting too.

What a lovely realization; more on that in a bit.

Later, when I walked through the door of the Little Village Café, a quaint little restaurant where Beth and I had agreed to meet in a little town called Baraboo, I immediately spotted Beth.

I must admit, I experienced a couple seconds of nervousness wondering if we’d hit it off. I couldn’t help but wonder if she’d be disappointed. What if I wasn’t what she expected? Of course, I actually had no idea what she expected anyway.

I knew that merely because two people both have had breast cancer, this doesn’t mean they will necessarily hit it off.

I’ve experienced that scenario as well, but that’s a different post.

It turned out, Beth and I did hit it off as we had much in common. For starters, we’re both educators. We’re both moms. We’re both writers. We’re both animal lovers. And of course, we’ve both heard “those words.”

Let’s just say, we had a lovely lunch full of good food, but more importantly full of delightful conversation.

Simply put, it was fun!

But there were more surprises to come.

When I arrived home later that evening, I discovered more good wishes had been posted and shared throughout the crazy venue that is social media.

Friends from all over had sent good wishes and made comments about this “ordinary” lunch two “ordinary” friends had shared.

Of course, way before this day I already knew online friendships were real and just as genuine as those “real life” ones.

I already knew about sharing joys as well as sharing painful losses with online friends.

I already knew about meetings between other bloggers and about how meaningful such meetings had been for them.

Now I knew first hand.

Somehow when any of us meet or get together, it’s like we all do.

My friend Philippa, who resides on the other side of the globe in Myanmar and blogs at Feisty Blue Gecko, had this to say:

“Knowing you two met, warms my heart.”                        

And Debbie, who blogs at Debbie’s Life is Bigger Than Cancer, said this:

“So awesome. Somehow it makes me feel closer to you all, not sure what that is, but it just is.”

How lovely is that?

Even though we might be scattered throughout the country, in fact throughout the world, there is something intangible that links us all together.

And it’s more than just cancer                                                                    

We are all more than cancer.

I’m not sure exactly what it is.

I do know it’s something real. It’s something genuine. It’s something simple, yet quite precious.

Even if most of my blogging friends and I will never meet in person, we are friends. We are “out there” for each other.

At the risk of sounding too sentimental, I know that whatever happens and where ever we go, we carry each other with us in our hearts.

And that truly warms mine. 

How do you feel about online friendships?

Have you met an online friend in person?








Friday 26th of October 2012

Love! Love that photo and love both of you! xoxo


Friday 26th of October 2012

Kathi, Love you back!


Friday 12th of October 2012

Nancy, I was tickled pink to see that you and Beth were meeting! I just touched on this "meeting of cyber friends" thing in my blog post today. I'm part of a group of 7 ladies who "met" on BCO and we have had a closed group on Facebook for over a year now so we can chat to our hearts desires. I have met 2 of the ladies in person so far, and we are like true sistahs. Cancer creates the bond, but friendship is what keeps it together. Cyber friends are every bit as real as "real" friends. (And a often more understanding!)


Saturday 13th of October 2012

Renn, Thanks for sharing about your special group. I agree completely. Cancer creates the bond, but friendship is what keeps it together. Heading over to check out your post right now. Thanks for being part of my cyber circle!


Thursday 11th of October 2012

What a great post and it does bring a smile to my face seeing the picture of you both. I've had the good fortune to meet several of the #BCSM regulars "in real life" and it's amazing how quickly we all gel - while we are all different in many ways, we share common goals and experiences. Anyone who states that on-line relationships are less "real" just has not had the right on-line relationship!


Thursday 11th of October 2012

Dr. Attai, I know you have met some of the #BCSM regulars and I'm thrilled for you. I think it's just great you are such an important member of the this community. Your work, advocacy and friendship are just wonderful. Thank you and thanks for commenting here. I appreciate it.


Thursday 11th of October 2012

How wonderful to meet a friend for lunch. I'm happy for you.


Thursday 11th of October 2012

Betty, It was fun. Thanks!

Lisa Valentine

Thursday 11th of October 2012

Being relatively new to the blogging world, it has been fun to get to know some of you through your words. I think we connect out of common experience, but also because we share at a deeper, more meaningful level because of that common experience. But common experience doesn't mean same experience, so it is good to learn from one another as well. I love the idea of a blogging summit. Thanks Nancy!


Thursday 11th of October 2012

Lisa, I agree we connect out of a common experience, but I think it's even more than that. As Alli mentioned in her comment, we open up to each other and share about a lot of things, and there's a certain amount of vulnerability that comes with that. This includes readers as well as bloggers, by the way. At the same time it makes the connections deeper and even more meaningful. I'm really glad to welcome you into the community, Lisa. Thanks for joining us and thanks for commenting.

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