Why should you go? I’m sure you’ve read other people’s reasons in their blogs and in their posts in various places around the site. Let me tell you my version. You might have read parts of it before, but this is my Share story, my reason for getting together in person with these wonderful people.
Two years ago, Ryley was turning 4. We were relatively past the “scary” time. He had been deemed “caught up with his peers”. My youngest baby was six months old, and we were coming out of our fog of prematurity. I looked around….now we have time to give back. NOW we have time to make some sense out of Ryley’s birth. But what could I do? MoD had come to my workplace during Walk season. I wasn’t working there any longer, but I remembered MoD and thought, hmmmm….maybe I’ll just see if they have a website and find out what we can do. Off to the website I went. At the bottom of the page, there was this little box with the “share your story” link in it. Again, hmmmm……..So I clicked, and entered a new world where people understood, where people “got me”, where I finally felt comfortable talking about my son knowing that someone out there knew EXACTLY what I was talking about. I didn’t know before finding Share that I needed to “heal” from Ryley’s premature birth, but I quickly found out that the emotions were there, just waiting under the surface. A few days later, our wonderful 2004 Ambassador Mom, Michele, im’d me. She was so caring, checking in on me, making me feel that I belonged. Soon, I was chatting with Karri, Darcy, Melissa, Brenda, Sharlene, and so many others. I was on EVERYDAY….Share became my lifeline. When James called and invited me to VLC, I was so honored and so overwhelmed…..I was going to meet these beautiful women who had made my life so much easier…women who had become such blessings in my life. And we started planning a gathering of Share members to coincide with Prematurity Awareness Day.
VLC was amazing. I had never met these women in person, but as soon as I saw them, I KNEW them. And Share Union last year was more of the same. There were lots of hugs, lots of tears, lots of laughter, and even more healing. Share is such an awesome online community, but putting all of us in one place….well, for lack of a better way to put it, it ROCKS. I came home from Share Union so revitalized, so excited, and so exhausted. All of you are special people. You make this community the healing, comforting, encouraging, fun place that it is. What each of you gives everyday makes this place what it is. Imagine putting all of that in one room, face to face.
I hope you will at least consider coming to the Share ReUnion in Kansas City. Those amazing friends you’ve made online (of all things!) will be there…..and you will “know” them. That feeling of being understood, and of belonging will carry over. Those conversations you’ve only had through a keyboard will continue as if the stream had never been broken. And it will make coming back to Share afterwards even more special because now you can hear the voices behind the words, see the smiles on the faces you have seen in more than just pictures.
If you have any questions, you can contact any of the Share ReUnion planning committtee members (I know I will forget someone, but I believe we have Melissa, Darcy, Karri, Denise, Kara, Amy). There is also information here on the site in the Get Involved Folder. Hope to see you there! I know I”ll be there in all my Diva D’ness! But don’t let that fool ya…..I love you guys. You bring joy to each of my days.