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LFCA Latest Issue: Friday, September 25, 2009.

Latest Post on BlogHer: Parenting after Infertility.

My Status: Fed Josh's almonds to the squirrels. They needed them very badly.

Monday, November 05, 2007

All the Right Words

Marlo Thomas has two books out right now called The Right Words at the Right Time, and the second in the series contains essays by regular people--like yourself, except they happened to write Marlo and submit their story--containing the words that came at a pivotal moment in life.

The stories are pretty addictive. They're brief--maybe three pages--but you end up popping them into your eyes (perhaps not the best imagery) like Doritos. The writing itself is simple--but you realize how much words can make or break a moment in time. I was thinking all week about some words that were once said to me in passing that I've kept with me forever. They were more of the hurtful variety. I was going to write about them before I saw this book, but now I think I'm going to write about something Josh discovered for the first time last night.

I keep two notes in our pantry.

I keep them there instead of in a scrapbook because I want to stumble across them from time to time as I reach for a can of crushed tomatoes or grab the paprika. I want the notes to flutter to the floor and reread them again. I could only find one of the notes last night--the other is free floating somewhere underneath the multitude of baking ingredients. And that is the point--I like to stumble on these notes.

The first is a note Josh wrote me one morning during our only successful pregnancy. The other is a note from my mother.

Growing up, my mother always tucked notes into our bags if we were going on a trip. She slipped them into our socks and folded them into our sweaters. I would go to get dressed and notes would flutter to the floor. I was not a great traveler--and by traveler, I mean spending one night away from home. These notes made the trip a little easier.

I had a hard time leaving for college. I wasn't the type who had looked forward to moving away from home, but there I was, a 15-hour drive away from D.C. On the night before they left to drive back home, my parents took me to the food store to stock up on non-perishables for the dorm room. A while later, I was reaching for food in my dorm pantry when a note from my mum slipped out. It was a simple message written on a yellow post-it note with a quick heart scribbled at the top. That is the note I still have in my pantry 16 years later. It has moved with me to 9 apartments or homes.

They were the right words at the right time. My parents have always made sure that I knew how much I was loved.

Josh never knew about the notes in the pantry until I was looking for them last night. It's nice when there are still new things to find out after seven-and-a-half years together.

I am hormonal right now--I think that's pretty apparent even without the period announcement this weekend--but I bawled through most of the stories in the book as I thought about how my mother always gives me the right words at the right time. Some of the stories were pretty amazing: a girl who lives through a suicide attempt and begins a lifetime of correspondence with Steve Allen because of it; the man who discovers that an old friend has written a song about him; the stranger who extends his umbrella for a person wet and in need. An excellent read if, like me, you like a good cry.

Thank you so much for voting for me--please continue to do so until November 8th. You can vote once every 24 hours by clicking here (or on any of the numerous links around my blog right now). I'm sorry to keep up the begging, but there is actually a purpose for this that affects more than me. It is currently National Infertility Awareness Week and Flicka (with the help of several others) is drafting a letter to be sent to campaigning senators and congresspeople to push for mandated treatment coverage and better benefits within adoption. I plan on posting this note whether I win or lose, but the attention from the general population that comes with the contest would be helpful. With you, I am preaching to the choir. Out there, it's a new world of information about 12.5% of the population which includes men and women, rich and poor, young and old, married and single, gay and straight.

The idea that comes at the end of the letter is that if they need a story to see the struggles of infertility and pregnancy loss, there are almost 1000 on our blogroll. 1000 real people with real stories and real problems needing real solutions. Those people, of course, are you.

How can you help? You can ask others to vote for me without revealing that you have your own blog. Ask your friends, family, and coworkers--simply say "my friend was nominated for a weblog award and I'd love to help her out. Please click on this link (
blog-1.php) and vote for her. The name of her blog is Stirrup Queens. You can vote once every 24 hours until November 8th." If you're out about infertility, all the better. If not, I'm simply a friend that you're helping out. Post it on your blog, post it on bulletin boards, send it out as an email.

Bring attention to the issues surrounding infertility/pregnancy loss/adoption. And if you have time this week, help Flicka prepare the letter. We need to move because voting ends on Thursday and I'd like to post this while I have some non-IF attention coming in.


ms. c said...

I love the story about your mom's notes. That is so precious.

While it's truly amazing that you maintain a community where nearly 1000 members are gathered, I couldn't help but feel ill at the thought of 1000 of us being brought together because we can't have the families we so want. And we are just the ones who choose to blog about it. I wish it were different for each and every one of us.

Bea said...

Looking forward to reading Flicks's right words at the right time.