This is a post taken from the blog of Princess Elaine. Link here http://g8trgirl4life.blogspot.com/ . She has put into very beautiful words what a FAMILY my Evil Krewe has become since we all found John Heald’s blog. Link here http://johnhealdsblog.com/
FAMILY by Princess Elaine
Normally I go out of my way to find a very odd word for my Word of the Week. However, this week I’ve chosen a word everyone knows and often takes for granted. In the last year-and-a-half, this word has taken on a whole new meaning for me. Without further ado:
family: a group of people united by certain convictions or a common affiliation
Now I’m sure most of you are thinking, “Aww…she spent the weekend with her new grand baby, her sons and daughter-in-law; she’s going to write about them.” You would be wrong. I’ve learned that family doesn’t mean blood related.
Have you ever had this situation: You and a friend plan a night out. Your friend invites another friend saying, “Oh, you 2 will get along fabulously.” But you don’t. Now imagine, having an entire GROUP of people you’ve never met, only e-mailed and yet feel an instant connection. This my friends is just a mere description of Big Ed’s Evil Crew.
We didn’t all meet at the same time. Our common bonds started out two-fold: Our love for cruising and our fascination with John Heald, Carnival Corporation’s Sr. Cruise Director. This is where we met, on his blog, in virtual reality land (Thank you RC). We would leave comments for John, and most times he would respond. The most vocal of the group, in the beginning was Ed. He would tease and taunt John about a variety of things. Eventually, Ed started his own blog, dedicated to all things John. Over time, many of us would respond not only to John’s comments, but to Ed’s as well. In the beginning there were only a handful of us. (I would name names here, but for fear of forgetting someone, I won’t). As time went on and John’s blog got more popular, a Blogger’s Cruise was created. That was all that was needed.
The group of a few decided to plan “evil” events of our own for John based on some of his “odd” nuances. And a handful turned into 20. I remember one evening, when the e-mails were only at 10 a day, one of the ladies, and for the life of me I can’t remember who, called herself a princess. That’s all it took. For those that don’t remember, I am Princess Elaine, the quiet and single. (they didn’t know me well then). Not to be outdone, almost everyone gave themselves a self-titled name. Silly for adults, to be sure, but you’d be amazed at how dirty, raunchy and flirty royalty can be. And then there were 60.
As the cruise itself grew closer, the planning of evil, including our own T-shirts a fart machine and scrap booking took on a whole new life. Gone were the 10 e-mails a day; one morning I woke up to 180 e-mails! And I had only been asleep for 7 hours and had written before I went to bed. I was looking forward to meeting all these people that I had grown close to over the months. I figured I would see most of them at Blogger events while on the ship, and the rest of the time would be spent with my sister Lisa. Wrong.
Upon arriving at the pier on that beautiful Saturday morning, I was asked by security to please remove my shoes. Seems as though my brand new sandals were setting off the alarm. By doing so, I was holding up a very long line. Behind me I heard someone say,”Geez, leave it to Princess Elaine to slow us all down.” I turned to look at who in this giant terminal could know me…to this day, I still don’t know who that was, but from that point on I had a feeling this would be a cruise I wouldn’t soon forget. After getting through security and waiting in a never-ending line to get my most valuable cruise possession, the almighty “Sail and Sign” card, I heard someone from above yell, “Princess Elaine!” It was him in the flesh and blood” Big Ed and his wife Pat. So far, I hadn’t even boarded the ship and people were shouting my name.
We hadn’t plan to meet in any one particular spot, but once on the ship, I had to find Ed. Straight to the pool deck we went and there he was. Of course, I had to hug him and Pat. Then came the Chads, the Budds, the Cordles, Lance and Ilda…and on and on it went. It was as if the King was meeting his court. As we all met for the first time, it seemed, to me anyway, that we had known each other forever.
During the cruise was no different. Everywhere I turned I knew someone or someone knew me. Yes, Lisa and I went to all the Blogger events. They were fun and there were many surprises. As well, there were 3 people in our Crew that couldn’t attend the cruise; no worries…at each event I would call them so they could feel that they were included in the festivities.
By the end of the cruise, John had announced the 2009 Blogger’s cruise. Without getting into the nitty gritty, I am a bit turned off by Carnival and am debating if I will sail with them again. However, I AM booked on the 2009 cruise. Why? Because I don’t want to miss a minute of the family reunion. And not just a reunion…newbies too! Our little family has grown to a large family of 110.
And for the record, it’s not that we’re close just when we’re on a ship. We are there for each other during good times and bad. Daily. We share weddings, births, sickness, job loss…the good, the bad and the ugly. Just like any family would be expected to do.
The true moment I knew this was family came about a month ago. When you get angry, really, really angry at friends, you can choose to disassociate yourself from them, leaving them out of your life. There have been times in my life when I wish I had the ability to do this with my blood family but I could not. They are a part of your life forever. Such was the case last month. Without going into detail, I got very angry with a person in the Crew. I vowed to never speak/e-mail with them again. After a day or two, I realized that this person is a part of my family, good or bad. I’ve always spouted to others that the Crew was my family; but the point didn’t really hit home until that moment.
As I’ve said on this blog in the past, I’m not very good with words. I know what I want to say, that is, what is in my heart. But I feel as though I fall short sometimes. I hope I’ve been able to express here just how much I love this family and how joyous and enriched my life is because they are a part of me.
And so, knowing them as well as I do, at this point, someone in this family would say, “Enough with this sappy shit, where’s the piano bar and tequila?