When Online Meets In “Real” Life

When we moved to Toronto over 4 years ago, we left behind our families, friends and support system. Since we were moving into a new place where I didn’t know many people, coupled with an 8 month old daughter, I was isolated a lot and began reaching out via the internet to make some connections.

When we added Jillian to our family and received her Cerebral Palsy diagnosis, I felt I was constantly online, researching, wondering, dreaming and hoping to find someone that was going through similar things as I was. Now that I’m embarking on my 1 year anniversary for blogging here, I finally got to meet one of the other bloggers I connected with in my first post. Luckily for me, she commented and the rest as they say is history.

Cary, who blogs at About the Small Stuff, has a 4 year old son, Ben who has spastic diplegia cerebral palsy after periventricular leukomalasia. Yep. I’m just sprouting the medical journals! Cary welcomed me warmly here and then I started reading her blog. To see another child who is SO similar to Jillian was amazing. We talk quite regularly, using social media. Cary lives on the east coast of Canada, while I’m smack dab in the middle of it!

Cary happens to travel for business. The last time she was in Toronto, our plans of meeting fell through. Thankfully for me, she was back this weekend! And quickly made plans to meet. I thought our plans might fall through again when Adam was SUPER late coming home from work on Friday. And I was SO disappointed!!

We rescheduled to Saturday and eagerly spoke through out the day. I warned her before I arrived at her hotel that I was a hugger. Cary admitted to having the same problem. Phew! We ended up out for dinner, with a glass of wine. I swear I must have carried most of the conversation! We ended up eating, having a glass of wine, paying our bills and managed to just sit and talk for 4 hours. I felt that I could talk to her about anything. We compared labour/delivery stories, diagnoses, etc. Plus some random things for good measure. Sadly, our night came to a close since she had to work in the morning. I am SO very lucky to have talked with her for almost a year! Since Ben (and his twin brother Daniel) are a year older than Jillian, I guess I get the sense that she has probably run across some of the similar situations we are now. It’s terrible though that we’re not close in proximity to each other. I think all our kids would get along wonderfully!

I really don’t usually notice when I explain things to my “real life” friends… But it was comforting to know that Cary and I could converse while throwing medical jargon around! Honestly, I can’t wait for her next visit, but who knows, we might drive there.

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