Imagine a thread connecting you to everyone you know.
Some of the threads are thicker than rope while others are frayed or broken.
We make and break connections every day. We have connections that will be stretched, but cannot be broken. And we have the most fragile of connections that we must constantly tend in order to maintain.
I started thinking about connections a few weeks ago when someone came up to me at a business expo just to say hello.
Garnet Stevens and I are connected by a blog. He writes it and I read it. When I heard about Garnet’s blog, “Thinking Clearly,” I sent him an email and asked if we could include a link to the blog from our Local Blogs site on www.herald-mail.com.
I knew who Garnet was, but we’d never really met. He gave permission and the link went on our site.
If you don’t know him, Garnet is a local resident who has worked in radio and television. He started his blog on Dec. 14, 2010, just days after being diagnosed with a brain tumor. He has shared that experience — how it has affected him, his wife and his family — in his blog and treated it with a heavy dose of thoughtfulness and humor.
We shook hands that day at the expo and engaged in a few minutes of small talk. That was it. Still, the connection is there because Garnet has shared so much of his life through the blog. When he walked away that day — and really every time I have reason to think about Garnet — I think “Keeping the Faith,” his signature at the end of every blog post.
Shortly after meeting Garnet, my third grandchild — and first granddaughter — was born.
She had been scheduled to arrive via C-section May 9, but ended up coming five days early because the medical staff was concerned that both she and her mother were losing weight.
I’ve been connected to this baby since my son casually mentioned last fall that they were expecting their third child. I had my fingers secretly crossed for a girl (OK, maybe not so secretly). Among the Christmas gifts from my son and daughter-in-law was a small box they insisted be opened first. Inside was a card with sonogram pictures and the announcement that baby number three was a girl.
I immediately started thinking about buying those goofy headbands adorned with flowers and bows that every baby girl is wearing, even if they have no hair. Suddenly, they were not goofy. They were adorable.
They picked her name — Jocelyn — months before she was born. Every time we talked about her, the connection got bigger and stronger.
It terrified me that she and her mother might be at risk. I was so excited to meet her and so worried for her at the same time.
Jocelyn arrived and, as her mother predicted, she was perfectly fine — healthy and beautiful. And, by comparison to her two big brothers, she was tiny. A mere 5 pounds 11 ounces.
It’s an amazing thing to meet for the first time someone you already love. That connection is as deep and strong as it gets.
I tugged at another important connection about a week ago when I got a chance to spend some time with one of my best friends, a woman I have not seen in about eight years. She was hosting a special event for her daughter and we didn’t have a lot of time to spend with just the two of us. But we really didn’t need any time at all to pick up where we left off the last time we were together.
We built that connection over the years, trusting each other with our ideas, hopes and secrets. We shared similar professional and personal goals. We liked and disliked the same people. We laughed about the same things and got mad about the same things.
And we were tolerant of each other when we disagreed about things.
So when we saw each other, it was comfortable and comforting.
It’s a connection that can stand the test of time and distance even though it is not built on the foundation of family.
And so, thinking of those people who, in one way or another, occupy niches in my life, I am convinced of something: It would not be a bad thing to take time to think about our connections and how they literally weave into the fabric of our lives.