Dinner, Encouragement, Stalkers, and Blogger-Authors

Here’s the post I’ve been promising for a while. The stalker story. Get ready….I am certain you will laugh, just certain. In my defense though, I need you to know a little background. If you read a lot of blogs, you will soon discover that bloggers write a lot about their personal lives and experiences. If they have a blog and they’ve authored a book or two, they probably have divulged more about their lives than if they were meeting you for the first time at the grocery store.

So, if you’ve followed a blog and read books by the same author for the past 5-6 years, then you know them. Really well. Because typically they’ve blogged and shared about enough of their lives that you feel like you know them. But what you actually have is a “virtual friendship.” Which is fine.

Unless they live in your town, shop at your grocery store, and went to high school with friends of yours. Then that virtual relationship takes on a new turn….because now not only do you know them, you know a lot about them.

Last January, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. It took us a while to get to the thyroid cancer diagnosis…we went through Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, thymoma, thyroid lymphoma, and eventually ended up with thyroid cancer. So amidst my recent diagnosis of “something cancerous,” a group of friends and I got together for dinner. We talked, we laughed, we cried, and we prayed through this uncertain diagnosis.

One of my friends is on the planning committee for a huge church women’s conference in Dallas every year. One of my favorite bloggers and authors usually speaks at this conference. So in this dinner conversation, I asked my friend if planning for the conference had started, and if my author was speaking this year. The answers were yes and yes.

I then exclaimed, “I LOVE HER. I love her books, She is awesome.” And would you believe that there were people around the dinner table that did not know much about her? So I jumped in and told them her story. A story that I’ve read about over the years. I was so thorough that my friend who knew her didn’t even know all of that. But it was in her books, it’s on her blog. She’s very transparent that way.

So my friends said, “Are you sure you don’t internet stalk her?” “Of course not, I exclaimed! She writes this stuff of her own free will. She wants me to know it.”

Right. I personalized it and decided that she and I were friends. Because I kind of never thought I’d meet her or anyone in her family in person. Until this happened…sigh.

My friend’s daughter attends the same school as one of the author’s kids. They also know each other from church. My friend saw her in the hallway at the school and told her my story. She asked her to call me. And being the wonderful person she is, she did call me.

I was on a high for about 4 days after talking to “the author.” My life was good. And I would still read her blog posts and her books. And she called me to check on me. Whew! Until I saw her a local coffee shop. Cheryl and I were there together and she does a really good imitation of me almost choking on my coffee when I saw her.

So I introduced myself to her as the cancer girl that she called. And we hugged. And we took a picture together. That high lasted about 10 days.

Then, I noticed she was speaking at a church near my house. I decided to go hear her as I’ve only read her books and the blog. And I already had my photo with her…so I really was just going to hear her speak. I really was, y’all.

Now let me tell you that she also has friends and a sister who write really good blogs. So I started following them as well because she links to them sometimes. And then, we know about their lives as well. And to top it all off, we even know they do things like go shopping together. That’s just how blogger friends are.

Back to the local church. I went to hear her speak and when I pulled on the parking lot of a church I had never been to, I parked my car and looked up as another car pulled in the same time I did. Guess who it was? The author. We parked right next to each other. I couldn’t believe it. So as we got out of our cars at the same time…I had to speak to her. Right?

And because we’re cool like that, we hugged. See, this is were the problem lies. I make jokes. So what I should have just said is since she is a hugger, we hugged. And I think at this point, she probably recognized my face.

Then in May she had a new book and bible study release. And she was speaking at yet another local church about the new book. And I went. And afterwards, she greeted the people. I wanted to get my book signed. And I did.

But this time. SHE REMEMBERED ME. I was Toni, the thyroid cancer girl with three kids. She looked at my neck swelling, she hugged me, and she asked about the kids.

All of this happened between me and a local celebrity in less than 4 months. And then her sister wrote a book.

You see where this is going. I’ve been following her sister’s blog for a while too. And…my friend Christie attended high school with the sister-blogger-authors. So now I know them…I really know them. And I think they have been very instrumental to my spiritual growth. Oh yeah — I introduced myself to the sister blogger author because her daughter attends my college. (She blogged about it once). And I told her if she ever needed anything to call me.

Oh friends…the world we live in is just too small. It really is.

So because I know both sister-blogger-authors, I want to support them in the stuff they do. And we talk over social media. And from time to time we could see each other in the grocery store…or the coffee shop. And then there was the flash mob…and we were all there together. And the list of coincidences go on and on…so now I know them. And I know a lot about them. And I’m not stalking them. If they read my blogs, they’d know enough about me that would be stalker material too. Because that’s how we bloggers are. Yep.

And if another celebrity comes around…well, you never know. 🙂

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