Before I tell you about this special event, I have to go back a bit.
Last year, I was watching The Meredith Vieira Show and there was a segment with Rebecca Alexander. Meredith is friends with her brother Peter Alexander, and both Peter and Rebecca appeared on the show to talk about Rebecca’s book Not Fade Away and the obstacles she has overcome. Rebecca has Usher syndrome, but she does not let that stop her from living life. I enjoyed the segment and her positive outlook on life, and I used a birthday gift card from my aunt to buy her book for my Kindle.
I was so inspired by Rebecca’s story and I posted on Twitter that I would be honored to meet her someday. Well, “someday” became Saturday September 26th! She had an event at the Baltimore Book Festival in Baltimore, Maryland, and she invited me there! It was so windy in Inner Harbor, but it was worth it. Rebecca told a few stories from her life and took questions from the audience. I related to her a lot, particularly with the cane issues. I know how to use one, but I do not want to be labeled. I use sighted guide. But I know I should start using the cane more because it will keep me safe.
After her speech, Rebecca met with people and signed books. I met her dad, who was so kind. He gave my mom water bottles with Rebecca’s book cover on them for Amy and me, as well as a t-shirt with Rebecca’s mantra on it (“breathe in peace, breathe out fear”). I met a new friend named Angel, who also has usher syndrome, and her mom. They are both really nice! I’m looking forward to getting to know Angel better through Facebook and hopefully meeting up again sometime.
Finally, it was time to meet Rebecca! I went up and said hi and thanked her for inviting me. She responded with the biggest hug, and I knew we would get along instantly! We talked about our stories and she signed books for Amy, my eye doctor, and me. She talked to Angel too. She was floored to hear about Amy being a journalist like Peter, as was her father. I enjoyed being around them and was sad to leave. I will always treasure their kindness and cannot wait to get together again sometime!
I’m glad I was able to make some new friends this weekend! Thank you, Rebecca and Mr. Alexander for everything yesterday! Good luck with the rest of your book tour, Rebecca! See you again sometime soon!