A (momma!) tree grows full of joy.
I was thinking this Memorial Day Weekend had a Meetup in store for me with the likes of such groovy bloggers as Drew McLellan, David Reich, Valeria Maltoni and Lewis Green. What's most neat is that I've met them all before so we get to meetup again...and they get to meet one another for the first time (except that David and Valeria had met previously at our Manhattan Blogger Meetup a few months back).
Yep, a fun lunch on Saturday in the Bryant Park Area--right behind NYC's famed library--is the treat I thought I was in for. Um, no...you bloggers sure are sneaky! As the case turned out, I was in for the most giving act of human kindness I'll likely ever witness. Best of all, I can witness it again and again. (So can you when you're in NYC).
Thanks to the boundless grace of many bloggers (listed below), my mother is now commemorated and honored in New York City with her own tree (for those new to my blog, my mother died suddenly 8 weeks ago--a tribute with pictures of her is here). But it's more than a tree. It's a sanctuary. More than that, the tree has been planted in a park in Spanish Harlem which is in a part of the city that is a "BID" (Business Improvement District). So this beautiful act betters a community...which makes a whole lotta sense since the beauty of this community's moving act betters me.
And my wonderful sister Melissa--who's never blogged a day in her life--is gonna be bowled over (!) when she sees this (she lives in the D.C. area and will visit me and our "momma tree" this summer). She's already astounded at the dedication of the eBook, the charity initiative and the many letters and poems we've received. Yep, sissy and I now have a new place where we can be close to our momma's spirit. I wish I had better words for what I'm feeling; it's like I'm floating.
I know that Drew and David spearheaded this effort and I'm not sure just how to thank them, or each of you. I've no precedent for this level of give. Drew, your family is beautiful and I'm grateful you flew into NYC! Lewis and Valeria, I love that we're hanging in the city every couple months, I'm getting used to it (and thanks for taking trains south and north to get to me). David, you're my pal and made sure I got there and stayed in town. And Luc...we'll address the fact that you've spent a 16-hour round-trip plane ride from BELGIUM (!) to be with me on this special occasion under "separate cover" (psst: that's code for an upcoming post--it's here). I nearly fainted seeing you; too bad we don't have my screaming on camera. Actually, probably best we don't as the mash-ups would haunt me forever ;-).
But to EVERYONE who did this, please know you were there yesterday. I honestly don't know how I'm worthy of this good-ness but I take heart in the fact that momma is. Indeed you have given me what I most needed: you've given me back my joy.
And if I feel down you know what I'm gonna do? Damn straight, I'm going to see my momma's tree!
While the pictures on the right cite everyone that was there in person, this could NOT have been done without the gifts and generosity of a MUCH larger group...and you were all in our thoughts and there in spirit. I cannot thank you enough for proving that blogging is not about rankings but about relationships...thanks galore be going to: Drew McLellan, David Reich, Valeria Maltoni, Lewis Green, Luc Debaisieux, David Armano, Roger Von Oech, Mack Collier, Toby Bloomberg, Tim Jackson, Marianne Richmond, From Marketing Profs: Ann Handley, Val Frazee, Sharon Edwards and Carrier Shearer, Mario Sundar, Gianandrea Facchini, Cam Beck, Gavin Heaton, Katie Chatfield, Matt Dickman and Paul McEnany. And I'm so glad I was able to speak to Toby, Roger and David, too.