Nine women converged on Orlando.
We took a chance.
The vast majority of us have either never met, or only had very limited contact via blogs and email.
I could never describe our differences. It wasn't until I actually arrived that I could appreciate the insane risk we all took in coming to this place. Backgrounds, beliefs, personalities, histories ... all so diverse.
And yet ...
We have laughed til we wet ourselves and we have cried til we purged some massive pain (okay, so the pain is still there but we had a safe place to share it!). We all parent children with special needs. We all have something to give and we have all needed our souls to be fed by one another. It was serendipity at its most magnificent.
Please, do not wallow in jealousy that you weren't here ... because you were. We all really did understand how we represented this entire village. This weekend allowed us to put a tiny blip of it in flesh and blood and simply solidify what we have all wanted to truly believe - we. are. not. alone.
I really wanted to write a little blurb on every single woman. I started to. However, each blurb kept turning into a novelette. I can't limit my thoughts. They are exploding and spilling out of my ears right now. I'm trying to figure out how to bottle my joy so I can sniff it as needed.
Again: you were here, too. Trust me. We talked about you. We longed for you and hurt for you. We also laughed for you and peed our pants a little for you.
Cause we're fancy like that.
See the rest of you next year, but for real this time, K?