Vegas Then, Vegas Now

Last night, I was supposed to be packing for a my trip this weekend to Blogalicious 2012, but I was distracted.  Preparing to travel to Las Vegas is supposed to be fun, but I couldn’t make my mind NOT wander to the only other time I’d been there – my honeymoon, September 2004.  

MrTDJ and I decided to go to Vegas after a laughter filled conversation.  About 2 months into wedding planning, we sat down to tackle the honeymoon.  We each made a list of 5 places we’d like to go and then we compared lists.  Very scientific, huh?  A quick glance of the two lists showed Vegas as the only place in common.  Done, cause that’s how he and I rolled.  Smooth and easy, whenever possible.  Our trip there was fantastic and I wish I had a few picks to share, but MrTDJ somebody lost the rolls of film and I have no honeymoon pics except for the one we took at “Top of the World“, the revolving restaurant atop the Stratosphere Hotel.  We talked about visiting Las Vegas again, but we never made it.   It’s bittersweet for me to travel there without him.  But, I will and I am. 

In 2010, when I first heard of Blogalicious, the conference was in Miami.  MrTDJ and I discussed it, but the logistics didn’t quite work out and I couldn’t attend.  I thought the stars had aligned in 2011 because it was being held almost in my backyard at the National Harbor, in Prince George’s County, Maryland.  Unfortunately, the dates didn’t work – it fell on the same weekend as MrTDJ’s birthday and the national walk for Autism Speaks.  I had already fielded a walking team in honor of our son, LittleTDJ and made big plans for the birthday boy.  Finally, early this year the dates for 2012 were announced and I rushed with excitement to tell MrTDJ.  Vegas is September and he told me that I had to go.  My homegirl Nae and I talked details in the early spring and it sounded like it might happen. 

Then my husband died.  I forgot all about Blogalicious.  One sleepless night in early July, I was going through my Google Reader and read a post on Justice Fergie’s page.  The post wasn’t about Blogalicious, but she mentioned it.  And when she did, I smiled but totally disregarded the idea of going.  Suddenly, the phrase, “Why not?” popped into my head.  I can’t say that was my husband speaking to me because y’all would think I’m crazy, but I feel as if I was moved by his spirit.

Since my husband’s death, writing is one of the few things that brings me any solace.  My sleepless nights are filled with journal entries, a letter or two to my husband, blog posts and work on my fiction novels.  MrTDJ was one of my biggest fans and certainly a vocal critic.  He wanted so badly for me to write freely without the constraint of a daily 9-5 gig.  We used to joke that if I quit my job to pursue a full-time writing career, we’d be living in a studio apartment eating PB&J every night. 

I blog because I like to write and it makes me feel good.  It’s as simple as that.  Folks visit my site and they read because they feel a connection.  Quite simple as well.  I know that if my husband were here, he would encourage me to embrace everything that Blogalicious has to offer.  And that’s exactly what I plan to do!