With this message
, I send my deepest regrets. I am unable to attend the 2014 Icelandic National League of North America Convention in Winnipeg.
On March 11, my husband came home from work to find me asleep and very ill. He rushed me to the hospital with a high fever, extreme headache, confusion, and an inability to speak.
At the hospital, the doctors determined my brain had an infection called viral meningeal encephalitis. The hospital stay was almost a week and then I was sent home to recover. The doctors told us it would take a long time. We did not believe (and still are fighting the thought) of their six months to one year estimate. Each week, I'm feeling better and better with increases in strength, decreases with the headaches, and vision that is getting back to normal.
The doctors expect a 100% recovery. However, they insist on rest, proper eating, and limiting exposure to germs and crowds of people to prevent a relapse, which is common in the first few months.
I have been hoping all along that the recovery would be in time for the convention. Unfortunately, this is not true. The plan (and doctor's orders) are to continue staying at home, gaining strength, and allowing my brain to heal.
My heart and thoughts will certainly be in Winnipeg. I will miss seeing friends and the excitement of a large group of people with the same mission -- to promote and preserve our Icelandic heritage.
Making connections with people at the convention, discussing our future plans for the great work of the Icelandic National Leagues, visiting with the Snorris, attending the lectures and the AGM, and most of all - the awesome camaraderie which is part of each convention will be sorely missed.
I am so sorry to cancel my lecture on Thursday and the Help Session. I can visit on the phone, email, or Skype with anyone that would like assistance or anyone that has questions about the Icelandic Genealogy Database.
This is the bright light with my illness. I have been able to work on the database, help many people get connected, and assist people in finding their ancestors and cousins in Iceland and in North America. The database is so amazing with connections to cemeteries, photos, maps, documents, and much more. As of today, there are almost 522,000 people in the database and it continues to grow every day.
David Johnson from Seattle is adding all the Mormon connections and working on genealogy for people from Washington and Utah. Cathy Josephson from Vopnafjörður is working on connections of the people who left from Northeast Iceland. Other genealogists have sent their information, too. This collaboration will make this database even more valuable of a resource.
If you will be in Winnipeg for the convention --- HAVE FUN! Thank you for making the effort and working to keep the connections strong. Whenever we gather together, bonds are made, friendships are forged, and the quest to preserve our Icelandic heritage continues.
Best wishes to you all, whether you will be at the convention or you cannot make it this year. Thank you for your efforts to preserve and promote our Icelandic heritage, keeping the relationships strong, and sharing our story so we do not lose these important connections to our history. Each of us, working together, will keep the story alive for future generations.