“Sometimes, the stars line up, the gods smile, and love gets a fighting chance. Just a chance. That's all it can really hope for. No guarantees, no certainties” ― Tess Gerritsen
I've traveled light years in what I've learned over the past 5 years of blogging. Not just in the kosher and technical ways to blog, but truly in what its like to live in community with others- especially if its a blog community.
I didn't know it would take a trip to Nashville for the line to be drawn through so many of my "dots," that seem to have been scattered since the beginning of my time blogging.
I didn't plan to go to Nashville, to meet any blog friends. It wasn't on the agenda, and the thought didn't occur to me simply because I wasn't ever certain I could even go on the trip. The main reason of the trip was for Rick to shoot hockey photos of our friend Matt Cullen, for his charity and for our local newspaper. Period.
Me, getting cleared to go, was last minute.
And I was worried a bit. How well would I travel? What would happen when the stomach cramps and need to be steps from a bathroom kicked in? How would I deal with the fatigue that plagues me often?
This is where my word "Embrace," usually comes into play.
I listen to my spirit, lean in and decide to just go. I try to let my human brain and its need to feel in control, surrender to what I could never possibly conceive. To be guided by faith and trust in something, someone, bigger than I.
So I casually reached out to my blog friend, Melissa, knowing she doesn't live far from Nashville.
Melissa is a beautiful soul, a mom to two adorable kiddos, Camden and Rory, a wife to Brian, and a cancer sista, living with ovarian cancer, diagnosed within weeks of myself.
It was her sister, Becky, who wrote a beautiful comment on my blog, having battled breast cancer herself, who introduced Melissa and I.
And just look what happened? We met, in person, face to face. I heard her voice for the first time. I hugged her, as I longed to do so often over the course of the last 2 1/2 years. She is every bit as real and beautiful and funny in person (oh my goodness do I find her humor refreshing) as she looks and sounds on her blog.
We've prayed for each other, shed tears for each other, and written the words that only the other one will fully understand at times.
She so eloquently wrote about our time together in her post entitled connections.
Our morning at the Thistle Stop Cafe flew by. I felt as though I was meeting a lifelong friend for a long overdue lunch. I clearly didn't see this "dot," coming.
So who could have possibly thought, in the meantime, another blog friend was preparing to invite us to come and see her- one dot leading to the next... leading too...
In the meantime, Rick was preparing for the home opening game where the Nashville Predators would take on none other- than Matt Cullen's former NHL hockey team- The Minnesota Wild.
Talk about a bittersweet night. Just who would come out victorious on this inaugural home game?
A party on the plaza was complete with live music and a "red carpet" of sorts for the players to walk upon arriving at the arena.
I have to say, by comparison to the "State of hockey" in Minnesota, the fans were a bit more relaxed and quiet, something I was unaccustomed to.
Ronette and I with our "Cullen" jerseys. I was the lucky recipient of a generous gift of Matt's very first Predators jersey this summer and so proud to wear it the first night in support of Matt.
The Wild warming up.
I took more photos and videos with my phone that night and they are all lost now. The uber cool one I lost? The one of Vince Gill singing and playing music in between periods of the game.
But Rick got this awesome shot of Vince's daughter, singing the national anthem before the game, and turned it into this painted photo rendition. More of Rick's photos can be seen at his photograhpy facebook page RWP. Would love for you to stop by and like his page!!
Here is another one of Rick's photos of Matt with the puck. Matt went on to get an assist and the Predators would win the game 3-2!
Two of the Cullen boys, clearly still in transition as well. While one cheered every time the Preds would score, the other cheered equally as loud when the Wild would score. Somehow, I knew exactly how they were both feeling.
I'm in the midst of finishing the story about the "dots and stars" aligning for me on this trip and will post it soon. It resonated so deeply with me and I am hopeful so many of you will get something out of it too.
I'm also working on my speech which is suddenly taking place next week!
In the meantime my visit with Dr. Panwalkar went well on Tuesday.
He was relaxed and rather humorous and that hearty laugh always does my soul well.
I will begin radiation on Monday the 28th for 3 weeks.
I will also at that time, be taking a break from Tykerb. I may get a few days of feeling more like myself again. Amazing the things I now find myself looking forward too.
Connecting the dots certainly is a blessing from God. I LOVE when He allows me the grace to know He has arranged them special for me. So thankful you connected more dots on this trip and that your visit with the Dr. went well. . . Grace and peace sweet VickyReplyDelete
So thankful for you Kelly and your sweet and encouraging words always! Grace and peace to you sweet friend- xxooDelete
I'm sitting here tearing up. I'm so blessed to have blog-connected to you through Robin! And if you ever come to Atlanta....xoxoxoReplyDelete
Oh Julie- we could have quite the meet-up in Atlanta! If I had just one more day perhaps we could have tried at least :) But it leaves me hopeful that the possibility exists in the future!Delete
Love this post! Thank You for sharing!ReplyDelete
Ahhh- thank you for coming over to read- its always so good to see you pop up here!Delete
Thanks for sharing how the dots connected...and I started grinning just imagining you and Melissa at the coffee shop! Our blogger friends are so wonderful--you inspired me to want to restart my blog :) Think of you often...now I am headed over to meet Melissa. (Although, her name sounds familiar, so I am guessing I have met her...just need to reconnect.) Prayers and blessings sweet friend!ReplyDelete
Hi Kim! Speaking of blogging friends I've had the honor to meet :) I thought of you as we drove through Sioux Falls on our way there and back- but we were flying through- no stops at that point in the trip :) I hope you do re-start your blog- would be great to follow along with all you are doing!Delete
Oh what a lovely shot of the cups!!ReplyDelete
You two gals look like you're taking a leak on dat der guitar lol
Sorry, I know it's all about the shirts lol
That's great about the dots connecting.
It makes you feel good and kept you busy so hubby could work
with a clear head.xoxox
The teacups were so cleverly displayed- I loved the whole cafe and it vibe! Oh gosh- don't even know what to say but we were all about proudly showing our jerseys for sure!Delete
Life is a journey. And, those moments in life where we connect to something even bigger than we ever imagined, those are blessings. Happy that you were so blessed on your trip. I can't wait to read more!ReplyDelete
Hugs and prayers dear friend!
Eileen- I think you'll be one of the people who goes back far enough with me to fully appreciate the next part I share. I am working on it and will get it posted soon! Hugs to you sweet friend!Delete
So good to catch up with your last few posts! Wow, Nashville, so cool! And with hockey added on, beyond!!! How wonderful that you met a friend in the bloggersphere. What a great pic of you two.ReplyDelete
Hugs to you dear Vicky,
Thanks Deb for taking the time to come over and visit :) Would love to hear how things are going for you sometime! I hope you are well and thanks for stopping by!!Delete
So glad that you and Melissa met face to face. That makes my face happy!ReplyDelete
And the photos on this blog are splendid. Love the teacups in Thistle Stop. (Whistle Stop Cafe ~ from Fried Green Tomatoes) is very near here. We go to the Whistle Stop often, and when I saw the play on the title, I smiled.
Wonderful photos of the hockey game by your talented husband. I went to his FB page and "liked" it. It is a privilege to see his fine artistic work. Thank you for the suggestion.
I'm happy that you had a wonderful time in Nashville. That makes my heart happy!!
I am wondering what kind of phone you have (that you lost the photos on.) Maybe someone could help you retrieve them. It is "do able"....perhaps if one knows how. And we all have friends who are "techies".... Let me know what kind of phone it is...puhleeze. I know that you would like to get them photos back if possible. Maybe we (someone) could help.... Couldn't hurt to try, right?
Sending you love...of course.
Miss Jackie, my only regret while being "down South" was that I couldn't make it over your way- I just needed one more day to be able to travel and then perhaps you and I and Whiste Stop Cafe would be in order for the day :) A girl can always dream :) I left a comment on your blog and let you know the rest you asked about :) Love always!Delete
How fun to finally meet Melissa. I'm sure you two had lots to talk about.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the update.....more treatments? You can do it my friend.....sending you love and good thoughts your way.
Lisa- I know :) It felt so right and good! Yes- more treatments- and thankful I still have those options available. Hugs to you!Delete
First of all, thrilled for a hearty laughing Dr. P and for a break from Tykerb. Next, can't wait to meet your friend and visit her blog and to dash over to Rick's Facebook page and like it. It's just so refreshing to see you having fun even in the midst of so many challenges and hardships, Vicky. What a blessing - TO ME! Can't wait to see all the dots connect and hear you tell the story. Love you, friend!ReplyDelete
Thank you Robynn for embracing all of us! It truly was a special week in so many regards- each and every day and I am extremely blessed it all lined up in the ways that it did. Love you too sweet friend!Delete
What a joy it is to follow your journey and to see the pictures of your trip.
You are in my prayers, as always, as you give your talk next week. What I know for sure is that God will be right there with you as you share from your heart.
I can almost hear the lilt in your voice as I read this post. Isn't it amazing how God brought Melissa into your life? What a blessing.
Can't wait for more about connecting the dots. :)
Love and hugs!
Linda- its been so eye-opening to see all the times God has put someone in front of me who seems to be exactly what I need at that time. Truly- time and time again I feel this has happened- and I believe part of that stems from all of the prayers I feel being said all around me. You all make such a difference in my life! Love and hugs to you!Delete
Hi!! So so SO glad you got to meet a friend face to face - that is such a treat!ReplyDelete
I am anxious to hear the rest of your story! Continued prayers for you and blessings to you!
Big BIG hug!
Hi sweet friend- it gives me hope that there are more face to face meetings out there friend!! Like maybe one with beach and sun someday? I'm dreaming of more!!Delete
Big hug to you!
So glad the stars aligned & dots connected for a great trip. And for a Tykerb break - to remember what good feels like. Remember to take a deep breath and talk from the heart with your talk next week. Waiting for the details...ReplyDelete
Thank you for the encouragement Marcy- it was so good to catch up with you!Delete
Oh Vicky... I'm so happy for you - what a wonderful time. You continue to be in my prayers.ReplyDelete
I was so thrilled for both you and Melissa to get to meet. The day you met, I kept trying to remember how I had found your blog and I feel almost certain as I think back that I had somehow stumbled upon Sara's blog and she had linked to you....And I thought that you could appreciate that 'dot' on the landscape of our lives. I have loved reading about your trip. Continued prayers for you.ReplyDelete