One week ago today, my sweet lady friend Liz from Victoria messaged me to break some horrible and devastating news. You know how when you hear horrible news, you will never ever forget where you were standing, what you were doing, and how you felt and reacted? Well, that was me last Monday–As I excitedly opened my Facebook message from Liz, you see, I am *always* so excited to hear from her; I love to chat with her, to commiserate with her about all things…Liz is one of those friends who gives of herself much more than I could ever give back and who I have come to love so very much. Anyway, what her short message said to me that day stopped my world…literally…I couldn’t move, I broke out in immediate tears, and I was stunned when I read the words…”I have ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease)”. WHAT?!! NO, it can’t be!! Yes, I knew that she had been to doctor after doctor and through test after test trying to find out what was causing the symptoms that she had been having as of late, but, never in a million years did ALS cross anyone’s mind, certainly not hers and certainly not mine–And then…
NO, I am not going to make this post about this debilitating and yes, eventually fatal diagnosis; I’m not going to give it the time of day that it doesn’t deserve…I hate it with and to my very deepest and most earnest thought and will not lament further on what it will put my sweet Liz through before it is finished with her. ***Instead***, I want to tell you about Lizzy and to celebrate our friendship, while she can still read what I tell you about her, because you see, I want you to see and I want you to know that she *is* a fighter, she *is* a trooper, she *is* brave, she *is* smart, she *is* beautiful (inside and out), and she **is** my FRIEND!!
Liz and I met via Facebook many years ago via the relatively small Newfoundland Dog community. We share a love for this most majestic breed of dog and have both been lucky enough to have been loved by 4 of these amazing creatures. Sadly, one of Liz’ Newfs passed away almost a year ago–oh what a sad day that was, I know Liz misses her beautiful Fleur each and every day. We still enjoy the 3 that remain, my two (Sophie and Samson), and her Jack, we share pictures, we laugh, cry, and completely enjoy our pups. But, our friendship grew much deeper than it being just through our dogs when Liz reached out to me via FB message a week after my hubby had his open heart surgery 5 years ago. I hadn’t been on Facebook for over a week (which is not like me because I’m always putting something up on my Wall). She was so sweet when she queried about our wellbeing saying that she was quite worried that something awful had happened…Well, she was so right (she is a very intuitive lady), something pretty awful had happened and I proceeded to tell her all about our scary and pretty harrowing past week, all the while writing through tears because I was so touched that she cared enough to reach out to us. ❤
Our friendship grew and grew after that, YES, you can become dear friends with someone through Facebook without ever meeting them in person. Of course one of our major goals was to meet one another in person, and when she moved from here on the East coast, to over there on the West Coast, I told her that it would probably be more likely that we would now get the opportunity to meet because my hubby and I routinely try to go to Alaska and we always disembark in Vancouver. Last summer (2015), Liz and I finally got the opportunity to meet in person…the hubby and I took a whale watching tour over to Victoria from Vancouver after we disembarked our cruise ship that had been cruising in Alaska for a week. I was SO excited to HUG Liz’ neck, I cannot express to you just how much. Here is our very first meeting in person…
What an amazing feeling it was to HUG this woman’s neck!!! And we hugged for a good LONG time…I’m sure we made a spectacle of ourselves, but, we could have cared less what others were thinking, we were seeing one another in person and all was right in our world!!! ❤ We had an amazing couple of hours with Liz and her hubby…you see Liz is a chef and she cooked us the most AMAZING meal!! (Liz is also a cookbook writer and an amazing blogger…among SO many other things) We sat on her deck and chatted and I was able to look out over the gorgeous cove where she had taken her “Daily Deck View” and her “Cruise Ship” (which I love) pictures that she posted on Facebook…It was quite surreal for me to actually be sitting there with Liz. We laughed and we cried, and we laughed though those tears as we told stories and compared notes, and just enjoyed being right there sitting next to one another. Also, unbeknownst to me, the day we were there just happened to be the one month anniversary of Fleur’s passing–And Liz was so gracious and said that our visit was special because it would give her something good to remember when she took a moment to reflect on Fleur’s passing anniversary. How generous was that of her to us?! Also, and ***bonus*** her hubby and my hubby hit it right off!! Goodness gracious, I think those two men might have actually talked more than she and I did. 😉 That warmed both of our hearts to see them connect so quickly and nicely.
And of course I got to meet and love on Jack—An amazingly calm, gorgeous, sweet, ‘gentle giant’. OH how I love that pup, I could not keep my hand off of him!!
We were so sad to leave, but, I promised that we’d be back again…And less than a year later, my hubby and I were lucky enough to be able to go on another cruise, to Hawaii this time, but, we’d be starting our cruise in Vancouver. When I told Liz that, and asked if maybe we could arrange a time to meet up with them, she generously said that they could take the Ferry from the Island over to Vancouver and meet us over there, spend the night in a hotel and then spend some more time with us the next morning. I was OVER the moon with excitement again!! So just this last April, Liz and I got the chance to see one another in person again. 🙂 The hug when setting eyes on one another was just as genuine and wonderful as that first hug we shared on the dock in Victoria…Here we are in Vancouver in April (2016):
All was right with our world again!!! We spent hours together that evening, we went to a lovely restaurant and we chatted and chatted and chatted some more. And all the while our hubbies were doing just as much chatting–Liz’s hubby is very special to me too btw…what a wonderful man he is…and you can tell that he and Liz are so much in love and are each others soulmates, it is lovely to watch them interact…sweet, sweet, sweet.
We also met up the next morning for breakfast and talked, laughed, and completely enjoyed each other’s company. I really felt like we got to spend some great quality time with them this time around, here I am with Liz and her hubby:
The love I feel for this lady is equal to how I feel about one of my precious family members–We truly have a lovely, very special friendship all grown and nurtured through the words we type to one another and through the pictures we share on Facebook.
Liz is the lady that encouraged me to start writing this Blog of mine…She gave me the confidence in myself to just go for it and try and share my crafts, decorating, diy projects, our home, our dogs, & most recently our travel experiences. It seems that Liz saw something in me that I had never seen in myself, she speaks about my ‘voice’ and how it can reach out and touch people…that I can put forth my personality, kindness, and such via the written word. I was skeptical at first, but, I trusted her, so I went for it…and it seems that y’all enjoy seeing and hearing about my projects, our home, our dogs, and our travels…Liz has created a monster, but, I’ve always been a talker, and now, I’ve figured out how to reign all of that chatter in and put it into a succinct and coherent format. I had to learn a new skill–meaning that I had to figure out how to set up my Blog site-and then I had to figure out how to start my very first post–I was scared and NOT confident that I’d be successful–but, I took a leap of faith because Lizzy had confidence in me! Liz was there rooting for me and encouraging me every step of the way, she was AMAZING!!! –And apparently, she was right…It seems that my Blog has taken off…surprising as that is to me, I am so grateful for every single encouraging word Liz! ❤
ALL of that said…
***To you Liz–My sweet, precious friend–YOU are so special to me, your light has and will continue to shine brightly–I’m going to continue to enjoy conversing with you about our pups, our hubbies, our likes and dislikes; I will enjoy your “Daily Deck View” and your “Cruise Ship” pictures. I will continue to chuckle at every picture you put up of Mike walking with those silly ducks, and I will drink in every picture that I see of Jack. I will read every single solitary word you write in your phenomenal Blog as well!! I’m hoping upon hope that we will be able to have SEVERAL more in person meetings and I will cherish each and every moment while typing and hugging you cyber’ly’ and hopefully hugging you in person (I HATE the miles that separate us!!). I wanted to write this now so that you can see my heart staunchly sitting right out there on my sleeve for you. My life is so much better because you are a part of it…I don’t want to stop writing this Blog post because I feel that my words will never be adequate enough to express just how much I love you and cherish you. But, please know that my words are genuine and true and they come from a heart that is overflowing with love for you. ❤ ***
Thank you all for listening to this lady’s ramblings. My Blog has become a sort of haven for me to express myself in many different ways…This may not have been an easy post for y’all to read, but, I just couldn’t go another day without putting all of the thoughts that have have been rummaging around in my brain for the last week to ‘paper’.
Until next time…Y’all take good care. ❤