Homage to Vanessa Morrison
Vanessa Morrison was a blog friend. We met online, the way bloggers do. It was sometime in 2011 and we were both participating in something called a blog jog. You had to register and pay $3 to link up. I didn't know any better; I didn't realize there were places to link up for free, all over the blogosphere. This particular paid for link up would have been a bust, but I met Vanessa.
During the weekend blog jog, I had commented on as many posts as I could stand to read and she was the only one who commented on mine. I didn't love her comment. I don't think it was love at first read for either of us. She could be a tad snarky/bossy in the comments and her blog just wasn't something I was interested in. Long story short, we became friends and I loved her blog.
Based on the comments section of Vanessa's blog, there is a whole blogosphere of blogger's just like just her, but she was unique to me. She was a doll blogger. She did photo stories and video stories. There were fictional storylines, relationships, marriages, births etc, all in a town she named Morristown. It's like a Barbie Doll soap opera.
On December 30, 2011, she wrote a year end review and gave me a wonderful shout out. In the same post she wrote a update on her health, and I had not known until then that she had cancer. Vanessa had a rare form of cancer that affected her red blood cells.
She never wrote very much about her cancer experience, but it was just enough to give you an inside look. She was positive and her blog was dedicated to her doll families and the doll stuff she made and sold on Etsy.
I've been off facebook since October 1st. I sent Vanessa an email on October 8th, because the last time she'd updated on her blog was August 11th. I just wanted to let her know that I was thinking about her.
Yesterday I logged on to facebook and clicked over to Vanessa's profile and saw that she passed away on October 11th. That took my breath away. She'd had a very bad year, just one thing after another. It was sad that she was my friend and I didn't know that she was gone.
I have an e-mail saved from when Vanessa ordered the very first Christopher Chronicles:
From: Vanessa Morrison
Sent: Friday, April 06, 2012 8:11 PM
To: Kenya G. Johnson
Subject: I Laughed Til I Cried
My book arrived today. I was so excited that I immediately opened it and starting reading it. Tears were streaming down my face within minutes. My mom happened to be there and I started reading some of it to her. She was cracking up. She has false teeth, so when I read the one about people taking their teeth out, she fell out. I had it read cover to cover in about 15 - 20 mins and I hadn't moved from my spot. I can't wait to read it again. Tell me where I need to go to write a review. Thanks so much. This book will come in handy when I need a good laugh. I definitely needed one this week!
This email meant so much to me, I saved it "forever". No snark about it, Vanessa loved my books and her approval meant a lot. She was a beta reader for my last book.
Anyway, there's so much I could write to tell you about my blogger friend, to really pay homage. I guess I'll just close with one of my favorite posts from Morristown and another one where I was sort of featured. She was very talented and blogging for Morristown was something that kept her going.
From this online relationship, I learned that bloggers don't have to be like minded or share similar lives and experiences to be friends. Through our writing, we get to simply make a connection, enjoy, empathize and learn about things we may not ever experience for ourselves.
Vanessa would say, "I hope this didn't depress you. Please don't say I'm sorry. I just wanted you to know."