Monday, April 1, 2013

Connections

I hope everyone enjoyed their long Easter weekend.

We had a jam-packed weekend around our house, beginning on Thursday afternoon when we picked up Daughter1, OnlySon, and a pile of dirty laundry from university. I cannot believe that the term will be over in four weeks. A Master's degree for Daughter1 and Year One of undergrad completed for OnlySon. I think it has been a great year for both of them. OnlySon has adjusted well, and I felt so much better knowing his big sister was just on the other side of campus. As we goofed around in his residence room, taking silly photos with Mr. Fun's new phone, it struck me that another milestone is passing by. Residence will be a memory at the end of the month. Even Daughter1 was getting a little sentimental about her life in rez and wishing she had got along with her roommate as well as OnlySon does with his.

Daughter2 had most of the weekend off from work. We were happy to get some eating and laughing time with her - two of her favourite activities. She was also getting a glimpse into what life will be like again at the end of the month. She openly lamented the fact that her only-child status will soon be over.

We attended a beautiful rendition of the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday; followed by a moving Easter Vigil mass on Saturday evening. There is something very powerful about beginning the service in total darkness and watching the light come bit by bit as the Easter candle is lit and then spread to each parishioner one candle at a time.

I was able to get a few long walks in with Mr. Fun and with Daughter1. On one such walk with Daughter1 we got into a discussion about connections. Connections that are forged, broken, or renewed. I have been on an extended absence from work. As I have been at home with my injury I have become more sensitive to these connections. What has been so beneficial are the connections that I have made in the virtual world. For instance, last week I read an interview with author Shana Corey on Mr. Schu`s blog, Watch.Connect. Read. In the interview Ms. Corey spoke about playing "Olden Days" when she was a child. She gave a vivid description of this make-believe activity. She even spoke about getting "bonus points for anything calico." Well, she could have been describing my two girls acting out their pioneer fantasies! I was so touched by how similar we can be. Here was this woman, born in Savannah, Georgia and playing Little House on the Prairie just like a couple of girls in Smalltown, Ontario. I wrote an email to Daughter1 with a link to the interview. She responded with a beautiful recollection of those years and an affirmation that she and her sister were so fortunate because they had handmade calico dresses and bonnets. She even reminisced about the fictional town that they lived in and the fact that poor OnlySon was forced to be a little boy named August when he wasn't relegated to the role of  Little Stripes the cat.

At this point I was listing all of Ms. Corey's own books (they sound amazing - how do I not know her work?) as well as her recommendations from the interview, into my Goodreads list of books to read. Yes! More great books to read. I came across her email address and wrote a quick note thanking her for the memories that she brought back to me that day. Well, she emailed me back right away and said that I had reminded her of something she had forgotten about - finding her grandmother's crinoline and adding it to her costume box. Within an hour I had made a very meaningful connection with someone hours away from me. Technology at it's best.

That exact day, Daughter1 had a FaceTime interview with a celebrity of sorts in Russia. Daughter1 lived in Moscow for a year after completing her undergrad. She never actually met her in Moscow, but she followed a blog by an American woman, married to a Russian and living in Moscow for 20 years. She passed the link on to me and I followed Jennifer Eremeeva and her blog as well. Now what usually happens is that some of these people really become part of our circle of friends. We would talk about Jennifer as if she walked among us. Does anyone else do this? Mr. Fun was constantly asking who Jennifer was (or Jessica, or any of our other 'blog friends') when we used her name in conversation. On this day, Daughter1 was going to meet her - virtually I guess, but FaceTime is pretty close to the real thing. She was going to interview Jennifer as a source for a story she was working on for Journalism School. Daughter1said the interview went very well. Jennifer had even read the blog that Daughter1 had kept while in Moscow and was wondering how she was doing after leaving Russia. She said to say "hello" to me too! Again - a major connection.

The final connection I want to leave you with is a list that I was directed to from some of my Twitter friends. Molly's Great Girls Your Daughter Should Know is the most comprehensive list of positive female characters in literature I have seen in a long time. How many do you recognize? Would you add to this list? When I contacted Molly to ask permission to provide this link she seemed overwhelmed by the attention that her list had garnered. Again I felt another kindred spirit. Another woman with similar values as myself. Another connection made.

Before I get ready to head back to school tomorrow I have a heap of books to jump into. Thanks to my virtual connections.

4 comments:

  1. Wonderful post! What I really took away from this is the inherent goodness of people. I think we typically want to reach out and connect with others on a positive note, and your examples of connections you've forged with people of similar interests is an inspiring example of the good, positivity, and joy the Internet can bring. Yes, it's wise to remember the Internet can have a dark side, but it's also important to remember the power it can have to create broader understanding and acceptance, and of course to show that the world really is much smaller and kinder than it seems sometimes.

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    1. Thank you. I agree about the inherent goodness of people. I have met so many people from around the world that at their core are no different from me. There is a need to reach out and make these connections with other human beings. It keeps us living.

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  2. Julie - what a lovely post about all of the threads of your life intersecting in such a lovely way! I so enjoyed my talk with Daughter1 and I am looking forward to her piece when it comes out. I am so very flattered that you liked the blog and even more chuffed to imagine that you all discussed me amongst yourselves! I've been on a blogging hiatus to finish a book, but am now getting back in the swing of things! I will look forward to following your blog and your tweets! Hope to meet you one day!

    Jennifer Eremeeva

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    1. Thank you so much Jennifer. I am sure if we ever meet in person we would have no difficulty finding things to talk about. If I am ever so fortunate to visit Moscow again I will be sure to get in touch with you. Good luck with the book! Please be sure to let me know when it is published.

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