Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Join us as we 'hold forth'..

Hello my friends. Today's post is an announcement so close to my heart and involves a lot of deep breathing.. It's about Marija Stephens, who as you know passed away a couple of months ago. Though some time has passed since the dreadful day we all read Cory's heartbreaking and beautiful tribute to his wife, it still feels like only yesterday I received a cheery 'hello' from my dear friend. As always when Marija wrote to me she brought a big smile on to my face and not a day goes by without me thinking of her and missing her terribly.

You will remember that Marija was not alone in the car at the time of the accident.. Debra Phillips who blogs over at '5th and State' was with her, and she miraculously survived the accident with only minor bodily injuries. Needless to say Debra suffered brutal shock and turmoil, and in compassion I reached out to her hoping that me doing so would help ease the pain a little. We connected and since then we have been in regular contact over email - something I think is helping both of us  heal. I regard Debra a dear friend and it is easy to see why Marija thought so highly of her! xx

Debra and I both know how much Marija loved her blog and the friends she made through it. To honour this we decided to launch a 'memory blog' in her name. A place where friends and family can celebrate the memory of Marija. The blog has been named 'Holding Forth'. The name needless to say is a play on words to resonate with Marija's beloved blog 'Holding Court', however the name also rests on the true meaning of the expression 'to hold forth', namely to 'talk at length', 'to put forward' and 'to speak in public', which is exactly what we are asking all of you to do in this space.

The blog will rely predominantly on 'guest posts' and will run for approximately one year with the aim to collate as many memories, stories, pictures and tributes as possible. After that we will have the blog printed in hard-copy and hand it over to Cory & the children. A gift from us, her friends in the 'blog world' to her family and friends in the 'real world', as a respectful 'thank you' for allowing us to spend time with Marija. If only for a brief moment..

I like to think of the blog as a 'compendium of love' and something that will tell tales of the good times we shared with this remarkable woman. Of course there will be grieving too, however I hope that in respect of Marija's family you will also hare your happy and heart warming memories with us be that the story of how you first 'met' her, a favourite or her wonderful blog posts or story, a sweet memory, or a simply your thoughts on our beautiful friend. Perhaps you have pictures to share too?  
Please email us if you wish to contribute. To avoid doubling up and/or cause any confusion we ask that you copy Debra on all emails sent to me and vice versa. Our email addresses are detailed over at Holding Forth.

Debra and I have also been kept busy collating some of the numerous tributes that you guys wrote in loving memory of Marija. You will find these in a separate section of the blog called Index of Tributes. NB! If you have written a tribute that is not listed there please email me or Debra your blog banner (jpg or png file please) and link to the post so that we can add it to the index.

With that I would like to now announce Holding Forth officially open and hope that you embrace and endorse this initiative to openly celebrate Marija. I know I feel so much closer to her when I write and/or talk about her, and I look forward to sharing that with you all.

xx Charlotta

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Tomorrow you will find the brilliant Lana Kenney 
featuring me in her weekly 'Blogger Wishlist'.


To find out what my heart is yearning for visit Lanalou!

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Also, don't forget to hop across to my dear friend Monika's to enter into her fabulous give-away.

In her usual generous style she is offering a choice of two gorgeous items of Swedish nature.

Hurry hurry the entries close on the 14th...!



Will @ Bright.Bazaar said...

Charlotta, this is a wonderful, heartfelt and beautiful way to cherish and hold the memories within blogland for Marija. Off to see the tribute blog, now.

LouBoo said...

Hi Charlotta - me again. I am so so pleased that you have done this, along with Debra. I didn't follow her blog or Marija's but like everything, blogging is not that big a world so I discovered the tragedy through reading someone else's blog. It was such a shock and now to have this positive new and fresh place to remember, I think it brings everyone hope. Lou x

Nuit said...

oh darling. What a beautiful gift to her family, they will be so deeply touched by this gesture. You and Debra are doing something truly wonderful... happy travels!! Luvs..


Everton Terrace said...

Beautiful. Lovely idea and heartwarming tribute. I am certain the book will become a true treasure for her family.

Splendid Willow said...

Charlotta, what a fantastic inititive by the two of you. You are putting so much time, effort and heart into this and I know that Marija is smiling down at you. And we are all so grateful.

A beautiful place to celebrate the memory of Marija.

Love to you both, Mon

Ragland Hill Social by Gwen Driscoll said...

What a great idea! I so miss Marjia too. She was so darling. I, too, have kept in touch with Debra and feel for her so. I think the world of blog is so full of special people & you are one of them. Hope you are well.

Tina said...

What a beutiful idea! I can feel the love reching out from my computer screen.
The pictures are divine and brings on enormous amounts of emotions.
I get goosebumps on my arms reading and viewing the post.
Who wouldn´t want to have a dear friend like you I wonder!?
LOL to you!

pretty pink tulips said...

Beautiful, lovely idea. An uplifting experience for all involved. Looking forward to being a part of it.
xoxo Elizabeth

Krystal said...

Wow this is so amazingly beautiful - such a wonderful thing to do. Handing over a book to the family is so brilliant - it's going that little extra mile for them.

Dustjacket Attic said...

Oh what a beautiful idea, I didn't know Marija but my heart really goes out to Debra. I hope she is doing okay.

hugs DJ

Style Attic said...

It will be the gift that keeps on giving and keep all of her beautiful moments shining. Teary eyed just thinking of how true love for each other can mend os much of what could tear us apart. I had no idea, there was someone that was with her at the heart is aching for her! She is blessed to have you to help her through and focusing on this project is so very positive. Bless both of you. XO, Kelly

Anonymous said...

This is wonderful gift, and we are so looking forward to contributing. Thank you for being so generous with your hearts

Eddie + Jaithan

Kerri said...

What a wonderful, thoughtful gesture Charlotta. Although I didn't 'know' Maija, she must have been such a wonderful person to have so many friends like you, and I think this is a touching tribute. I hope this brings some comfort to her family, both her husband and children, and her family in the blogging community also. K xx

Kathysue said...

Charlotta this is yet again another tribute to the wonderful spirit that Marija is. She touched so many bloggers lives. This is a gift from the heart. Kathysue

Lana said...

This is such a special thing to do Charlotta xx

Julie@beingRUBY said...

Dear Charlotta
This is such a wonderful idea.. and a lovely way to both honour Marija's memory and allow people to heal.. Your are a special girl!.. xxx Julie

purple area said...

Lovley images!!

A Room For Everyone said...

What a wonderful idea. Thank goodness for people like you Charlotta, you have so much depth and compassion..Rachaelxx

Megan said...

Oh, this brought tears to my eyes. This is so very touching and what a wonderful way to remember her! You are such a caring person with such a big heart.
I do hope this helps people's healing!

Jude said...

What a beautiful, touching tribute you've written. A wonderful way to remember someone beloved.

The Zhush said...

I am both sad and happy at the same time reading this post. You are an amazing lady Charlotta! I look forward to participating and reading along...

Stacey said...

This is so beautiful. I am bit behind on catching up on blog reading, so i missed this yesterday. Reading this had me tearing up. Words cannot describe this gesture of yours and also Debra.Just know that God is smiling at you(both of you). Beautiful Charlotta.

Leigha said...

You have a beautiful soul Charlotta.

one sydney road said...

Oh Charlotta this is beautiful - I have tears in my eyes. What a thoughtful idea. My heart goes out to her family and friends.

Amanda said...

What a beautiful and heartfelt idea Charlotta. I didn't know Marija, but upon reading of this tragedy, my heart so went out to her family. It will be wonderful. xx

La Boheme said...

This is such a unique gift to Marija's family and how generous of you and Debra to put your efforts into it. xoxo

Karena said...

Charlotta this is so wondeful to put together a tribute such a this!

Art by Karena

Vintage Simple said...

This is a beautiful idea, Charlotta. I didn't know Marija, but I know that those who did will find much comfort in this space. What a wonderful way to celebrate a life, and what a beautiful gift to her children.


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