Beware - a cautionary tale or not

We've all heard about the scary internet. We've heard the horror stories about identity theft, burglaries, child molesters, emotional affairs, and other scary things.
I can remember when the internet first became widely available (yes, I'm that old - stuff it). It was my senior year of high school. My boyfriends parents got internet (dial up modem style) so we could email the boyfriend while he was away at college. I thought it was the coolest thing ever.
Fast forward a couple years and the internet is really up and running. AOL is strong, Yahoo too. For you youngsters, Google hadn't come to play yet. The media started talking about all the dangers lurking on the web. Suddenly everything about everyone was so accessible. People felt safe tucked behind their computer screens and so began our addiction with over sharing.

Way back when Scott and I got engaged, I found a website that was about wedding planning. Tips, tricks, advice, a forum where other engaged ladies went to share ideas and vent about the wedding process. I began hanging out on this message board, getting to know some of the girls.
Over the years that website grew and included a message board for expecting moms and then a board for parents. I continued to transition. Moving to the appropriate spot, sharing some and gaining so much more. Potty training tips from woman that had been there. Car seat safety, information on "toxic" foods, ideas on how to deal with tantrums... the list goes on.
There is also plenty of girl chat. My in-laws this, my husband that. You know the things girls chat about when they're together.
I feel like I really know some of these woman even though I've never met any of them. Scott used to laugh at me when I talked about my "internet friends". He thought it was great and would often say "why don't you ask the girls on the internet?".
So many of them reached out and left comments on this very blog in the days following Scott's death. They posted me messages on the website, most of which I didn't see until days later. Everyone offering words of support, prayers and lots of internet love.

Today I got the most beautiful card from those "internet friends". All the ladies, rallied together and sent Kate and I a wonderfull, amazing gift. Everyone chipping in, even in these hard economic times, to help make the days a little brighter for Kate and me.
I cannot express how their kindness has made me feel. The smile, the tears, the love... As I opened the card I slowly slid to the floor at the kitchen counter where I stood opening the mail. I sat on that floor and cried. I looked up through my tears, past all the flowers from Scott's service, and out the kitchen window. In an otherwise gray overcast sky, there was a giant ray of sun. A beautiful clearing right in our back yard.

Between my "parenting internet friends" and the girls that gave me Kara Schultz and the amazing photo session the day before Scott died, I am so profoundly humbled. There really are good people out in this world and I'm so lucky to know so many of them.

People have often asked me if I worried about how much I share here on my little part of the internet. My answer is always the same, I give what I get.
Thank you all for giving me a soft place to fall. Thank you for loving me and Kate. I am so eternally grateful.
Turns out maybe the big, bad, scary internet, really isn't so scary.

J  – (April 4, 2011 at 9:50 PM)  

I'm so glad that we were able to bring a little sunshine to your day! I continue to think about you and Kate daily. Sending you big internet hugs :)

Jamie (skippy2310)

mommara  – (April 4, 2011 at 10:00 PM)  

Yayy so glad you got it. We all love you so.

Megan  – (April 5, 2011 at 6:21 AM)  

So glad you got it and are able to put it to use, we do love you big hugs:)

Nat  – (April 5, 2011 at 6:33 AM)  

I'm so glad we were able to bring a little sunshine back to your house. Lots of hugs. (n@photo)

Jodi  – (April 5, 2011 at 6:37 AM)  

Argh! I'm leaving for work in a minute and cannot cry now! So glad it brightened your day and that you got to see how many many care about you and KAte!

AnnapolisLari –   – (April 5, 2011 at 7:35 AM)  

So glad that we could help to make things a tiny bit brighter for you and Kate.

Krystal  – (April 5, 2011 at 7:52 AM)  

I am so glad it brighten your day! Lots of (((hugs)))

Mattswife91805

Colleen  – (April 5, 2011 at 9:25 AM)  

So glad you got it! We are lucky to know you!! You are one strong and inspiring woman.

Anonymous –   – (April 5, 2011 at 9:26 PM)  

Girl, you deserve it! So glad to be a part of brining a little sunshine to your day!! ~r9

Heather  – (April 19, 2011 at 5:17 PM)  

I am so glad that we could bring you a bit of happiness. You and Kate deserve it.

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