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Sunday, May 27, 2007

A (momma!) tree grows full of joy.

Dsc00873_2I 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.

Momma_tree_ck 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 Familygarden2 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.

Dsc029031Here is the plaque (thanks to Luc for this great shot, just click to enlarge) and it says: "Honoring the life and spirit of Sandra Kerley". And that says it all ;-).

Updates: Lewis has a great post on this here, David has a great one here and Drew has a "soulful" one here. And Valeria has a "Tree of Life" post here.


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It was a perfect day. And a perfect way to honor your mom and her daughter that we all love so much.

It's all about heart. Thanks for sharing so much of yours with us.


You sounded very, very happy on the phone. I'll have to check out the tree the next time I'm in NYC.

See I *told* you that you were in for a 'sweet' weekend ;)

CK- *choke* so glad you loved your tree. If we, in some small way, have let you know how grateful we all are to your Momma, we've achieved our goal. But to give you back your joy! That's better than I ever imagined.

I promise to come sit with you under Sandra's tree sometime soon.


So happy you were able to share a special day with some special friends in honor of your Mom. Though I couldn't be there, it was great to hear your voice.

CK - what I find amazing is that so many people were able to keep this a surprise for you. Enjoy your "Momma Tree" that was planted with virtual hugs by friends from all over the world.


Sorry I couldn't be there but will look forward to seeing you and the tree next trip to NYC. Thanks for sharing the pictures.

Hi All: You'll just love the tree. I'm serious that it's located in such a special park...like a sanctuary. See, in NYC, these kinds of parks are really very rare. I'll come sit with you under it anytime you're in town. It's sooo special that I really don't have words for it.

Missed your blog for a few weeks, and not just yours. Because of David's Twitter I found your memorable weekend.
It must be special to remember your mother this way. Hopefully it makes it all a little bit easier knowing that you have all these great caring friends.



What a thrill to see these pix and to hear how special your weekend was! I hope that you are richly comforted by the love of many who have known you for only a short while, but who are now, in such a curious and wonderful way, "extended family."

CK: NYC feels like home, thanks to you and your mother's tree. I'll say more later today. I had one in store just for you ;-)

CK - God bless you and your family. I'm glad there's someplace you can go to be reminded of your mom.

Thank you all for the beautiful gift! You are so kind and generous! I can't wait to see it! --Melissa

This is really nice. Thanks, CK, for your kind email to me.

I don't visit blogs anymore really, I am so busy with Spock, Freebase, Twitter, Jaiku, folkd, del.icio.us and other Web 2.0/3.0 tool communities, plus my 40 hour job.

Blogs seem so slow compared to Twitter etc.

Note new email addy: vaspers [at] inbox [dot] com

Yeah, I'm mercurial.


CK- I SO wish I could've been there or at least in on the calls, but life just kept getting in the way... ;-)

That said, I'm very happy that the others were able to present you with the tree for you, Melissa and Momma. The thought that your "joy" has returned is far more than any of us likely bargained for (I know it is for me, anyway).

This outpouring of support has been "earned" by all that you share and give to the community- it's what you deserve!

I look forward to seeing the tree with you one of these days; God knows sooner or later I'm gonna get back to NYC!

I'm planning to visit NYC perhaps in September! The first person I want to meet is you CK.


A unique day. A simple, true intention. A unique tree... in honor of your Momma. I feel blessed I could share the spirit of the tree "live" with you, Valeria, Drew, Lewis and David.

Nous avons aussi beaucoup pensé à vous. Vous étiez "là" en pensées avec nous.

Oh, CK. How beautiful!

Oh my - this is utterly lovely and kind and amazing. Why good peeps you bloggies are - just wonderful. xoxoxo

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