My Soldier Friends

I couldn’t write while I was in the midst of the national 5p- conference that I went to this past weekend. I needed a day or two to absorb it and figure out what it all meant to me.

I can tell you it meant the world.

I plan on telling you all about it in different posts this week. That’s how wonderful this experience was for me.

I’d like first to tell you about my soldier friends. By soldiers, I mean those of us who have “survived” the diagnosis of Cri du Chat/5p- for our children. That’s what it feels like to me anyway. That we were blasted, bombed if you will, by the terrible news. Then we fought our way through the darkness, the war, and finally came back home to our families. We know each other in a way that others simply can’t. Not even our husbands. We are a group of women who have been through something that’s, frankly, devastating and horrific, and have somehow managed to survive. Not only survive, but thrive and succeed and be truly happy. It’s a camaraderie that is unusual and beautiful and something definitely to behold. The conference gave me a unique opportunity to meet my “fellow soldiers” in person. Many of us have “met” virtually but there’s just something about being able to hug your friend and look them in the eyes. Some of my friends were new; we hadn’t “met” before but it was wonderful all the same.

I finally got to meet Charity in person. She is a gorgeous mother of five (yep, five!) and her youngest, Sofie, has Cri du Chat. We have talked through this blog, through email and through Facebook but to talk to her in person and hug her and kiss Sofie’s toes? Wonderful. Sofie is totally hooked on her mama and rightly so. Sofie’s adored by her 3 brothers and 1 sister and mom and dad. Charity has come a long way, like we all do, in this war. It was good to see her and know that her smile does in fact go all the way to her eyes now. I think I made a friend for life.

I also finally got to meet Erin and her sister Adrienne. I haven’t met two sisters yet who love each other more. Sweet, beautiful Erin and her little girl Maya. Let me tell you something—this little girl is L-O-V-E-D loved. Her whole extended family was there!! And her curls? Oh my. Erin and her sister had sent me some very heartfelt emails right after Maya’s diagnosis and I can tell you that when we met, there wasn’t a dry eye in the group. Erin also made my night by telling me that meeting me was like meeting a superstar because of this blog. That was IT for me. Sometimes I wonder why I write, especially those days when it feels like no one reads it, so this compliment meant the world to me. I wished we lived closer because I can totally see us kicking back with a glass of wine and shooting the breeze.

I met Jaqui who is so much fun and was a gem even in the midst of being stressed because she was in charge of the whole conference! She did an amazing job. I loved hearing her voice, meeting her family and talking about our girls. Her daughter, Bella, is so beautiful and sweet…and totally crazed over Justin Bieber. It’s so cute.

I met Olga who I didn’t know yet but reads my blog and introduced herself to me. Her little guy Alex is dreamy. I got to meet Rachel who I knew from Facebook and meet her little guy, Miles. There were so many little ones to cuddle and squeal over; I was in heaven. I also met Marcy and Deana and got to swap some stories with them too. And Elizabeth with her little guy Edmund. I mean seriously, how cute is that name? And he’s got those chubby thighs that are to die for. Holly was there too with her guy Cody. Olivia decided that Cody was her boyfriend. He’s very cute and sweet and I’m totally ok with that!! Holly and I chat on Facebook a lot and it was so great to meet her again!!

Some of my “old” friends were there too. Natasha and Brielle, who used to live in Ohio, were there and it was great to catch up with them. Jessica, Jolene and Angie, who are from Ohio too, were all there. It’s always nice to see a familiar face in a large group of people.

Last, but definitely not least, my friend Sheryl and her family were there. Sheryl and I have been talking since Olivia was born. Sheryl’s daughter, Sydney, wasn’t diagnosed until she was 2 so we were at the same point even though our girls are not the same age. We’ve met several times before but we hadn’t seen each other in over 5 years. It was so great to see her, hug her and catch up over coffee.

I’m probably not doing it justice, but it’s just fantastic to hang out with other moms who get you, who know what you’ve been through, who understand your child completely. I’m so very glad I had the opportunity to go.

To all my soldier friends out there, those of you who were mentioned here and those of you who read and write to me but haven’t had the opportunity to meet yet, thank you. Thank you for being my friend. Welcome home, soldier!!

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In honor of my friends, old and new, I’m having a giveaway today!! As you may or may not know, I am hosting a golf outing next weekend for the 5p- Society. You do not have to donate to win, but any donations would be appreciated. You can click on the Chipin link below to donate easily.

http://teachersgifts.chipin.com/olivias-open-for-5p-society

I am giving away a Stella & Dot necklace!! My friend, Christine, sells the jewelry and graciously let me have a party as a fundraiser. Have you seen their stuff? It’s gorgeous and very high quality. We raised over $250 to sponsor a hole and lots of jewelry at the fundraiser!! One of my favorite items is this purty little necklace below. You could wear it, or your little girl could wear it! You can also wear it as a bracelet. How cool is that? I chose the charm that says “Faith” because you KNOW I would never make it through without that!!

To enter the giveaway, please leave me a comment!! If you’d like to make a donation, it would be greatly appreciated as every little bit helps. Any tweets or FB entries or blog mentions about the giveaway and donations would be greatly appreciate but not necessary. Thank you so much!!

Giveaway ends August 11th at midnight!!

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6 responses to “My Soldier Friends

  1. It truly is amazing to have come across so many amazing people with my blog. People who get my life and get my boys. I can only imagine how fabulous it was to be able to hang with those folks in person! I’m so glad that you had such a fantastic vacation with such a special ending to it:)

  2. Oh, wonderful to see so many familiar names and faces. Wish I could have been there! When I have been able to attend, I know I have used so much of what I learned, all year long and beyond… and the feeling of belonging and support is so incredible. Looking forward to hearing more.

  3. So glad you had a great time at the conference. Thank you for your friendship and for your help promoting my business. I am thrilled to be helping with Olivia’s Open!

  4. Again… I’m so jealous. Thanks for introducing us to these soldier mamas. You nailed the nail on the head… no one can ever understand us… but how amazing that our battles have been so similar. Miles and countries apart, we can relate with so few words.

    Hey, I think you’re a superstar too. I would ask for your autograph if I’d meet you! LOL!

    Jealous that I wasn’t there.

  5. I think it is so great that you have such a supportive group, and I’m so glad you found each other. I am sure that your blog is a catalyst for many of these bonds. You ARE a superstar!!!!

  6. Just wanted to tell you that Erin was so excited to tell me that you two met. You have been such a rock of support for her via your blog and I know as her friend I am grateful for you too. Your family is beautiful and I wish you all the best. Thanks for taking care of my friend, when I don’t know how!

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