I am proud of the fact that my guests on the podcast are from all around the world. I want to show both the universality of our experiences and the differences.
It does mean, however, that I will likely never meet most of my guests. After I talk to them I feel like I know them so well. They feel like friends, people I connect with. I get off Skype on an emotional high, with the feeling that “these are my people”.
So it was pretty special that while I was in Melbourne last week on holiday I got to meet Natalie and Chiara from Episode 03.
Neither me or Natalie can quite remember how we found each other’s blogs, but we did. Natalie blogs about her journey with Chiara at Chiara’s Journey. I remember reading Natalie’s words back when Eva was first born. Her combination of positivity, steely resilience and emotional authenticity was so refreshing. I felt like I knew her through her words, but we had never met.
She was one of the first people I asked to be part of the podcast, and I was so honoured to feature her story.
We arranged to meet for lunch during my week in Melbourne and when I slipped in across the table from her and Chiara and her older daughter, Grace, it felt like meeting up with an old friend.
Meeting Chiara also felt a bit like meeting a celebrity. I was seeing that beautiful smile in person for the first time. I knew so much about her and she knew so little about me.
It was a real honour and yet another thing I never would have experienced without Eva’s influence in my life.
It also reminded me just how important it is to build those connections and community when you’re a special needs parent, or any parent for that matter. This life can be isolating, so we need to reach out and grab hold of each other to keep ourselves afloat in the tough times and celebrate in the good times.