Sunday, February 13, 2011


I've been contemplating how to write this post for a couple of days now.

I guess I should start by referring to my online friends. Admitting that I have internet friends that I have never met in real life feels kinda strange to me. But to be clear they are not strangers at all, they are my close friends.

I met them in the fall of 2006 when I was pregnant with Tessa. I ventured onto to get some more information about pregnancy. Being new to this I was happy to "meet" some other ladies whose babies were due the same month in a public internet forum, commonly known as a 'birth board'.

A couple of years ago babycenter changed their format and a group of us spun off and started our own private forum. At first we talked about our pregnancies and babies but when the forum became private it was like a door opened up. It was just us, the mothers of April 07....sitting around and chatting with each other as if we were out to dinner in real life.

During down times and nap times we talk about the things that any group of mom would...babies, kids, our bodies, shoes, food, sleep deprivation. You name it. We post pictures of our kids and ourselves. We put up polls about what brand of diapers everyone prefers.

We are a community.

I saw the movie The Social Network the other night and a quote from Justin Timberlake's character struck a chord. He said...we lived on farms, then we lived in cities, and now we live on the internet.

I think that's so very true. I am a social person by nature and that's exactly how I use the internet. I write here, I check facebook, and then I check my birth board. I want to KNOW how my friends are doing. I want to know what they are doing. I love their advice and perspective, I love the small talk. I love that when my kids are asleep and my husband is on the other side of the country I have people to talk to. Not just a few people but a lot of people. Sometimes I talk all evening.

I think the best word for the relationships of my birth board would be a Sisterhood. We support each other in so many ways on so many topics. We are women from different states, lifestyles, cultures and yet their is something inherent that keeps us together as a group. We are mothers of small children just trying to do our best.

Never has the sisterhood been more palpable and more real than this week.

This is Shannon and her daughter Reese, who was born in September. She is a member of my birth board who lives in Oregon. She also has a son Josh, who is Tessa's age.

This week Shannon got a call from her daycare while at work that Reese had stopped breathing during her nap and the EMTs could not resuscitate her. This perfectly healthy child had been affected by SIDS and died at 4.5 months old.

We were visiting family in Colorado when I casually logged online and saw how my birth board and facebook had exploded with the news. My online friends, from all around the country were furiously typing while weeping.

Our friend had suffered the worst kind of tragedy.

In the days that have passed I've thought about Shannon almost constantly. Feeling so helpless, the ladies of my birth board began to mobilize in the most amazing ways. We collected money to fund the funeral. We prepared a care package for Reese's 3 year old brother. We reached far and wide for prayers for the family. We are making a prayer shawl and a quilt. Jeremy and I donated Marriott points to a house a group of 6 ladies who are travelling in for the funeral this week. And I'm sure there's a million more things that I don't even know about.

But probably the most important is that we've shown love to Shannon...using the birth board and facebook to let her know that she is not alone. We are all just a keystroke or phone call away.

And the fact that I haven't met most of these ladies (I've met a few) is irrelevant. I believe that community is WHERE you make it nowadays. Everyone has heard the bible verse that says that wherever two or more are gathered He is there, and I am CERTAIN at this point that that applies to the internet. The largest gathering of all.

We are together, and God blesses our friendship because it is love.

I guess I should end this post by asking you to pray for Shannon and her family. This tragedy is beyond measure and so unexpected, but she is showing amazing strength and faith.


Cindy said...

Thank you for sharing this Laura.

Melissa (Cameron's Mommy) said...

BEAUTIFULLY written Laura - and So True :)

Katie said...

Beautiful Laura!

danna said...

I'm honored to have "met" you Laura. I'm thankful for our friendship.

Carrie (Ainsley's mom) said...

Very well said. Than you.

Lori said...

Beautiful Laura

Mom To Many said...

Absolutely beautiful, Laura. <3

Callye said...

Love you, Laura boo. <3

OneBigTallGirl said...

Laura, that is wonderful! Thank you, with my whole heart- Thank you for your friendship, your generosity, and for just being you. I am a better person to have a friend in motherhood like you!

Amy said...

love this, love you, love US. Thank you for sharing. <3