By Lisa Manterfield
March is the month I lost my dad (sad) and, later, my stepdad (also sad).
March is also the month I married Mr. Fab (happy). We celebrate 11 years this year (very happy).
March is the month Mr. Fab’s granddaughter was born (happy and sad) and quickly became the month we decided to stop the quest for a child of our own (very, very sad).
It’s also the month I wrote my very first post on this blog (sad at the time, but very happy now).
So you can see, checking off the days on the March calendar can be a bit of an emotional ride.
What I notice, though, is that with each passing year, I’m less sad about the sad anniversaries and more happy about the happy ones. Even though “time heals all wounds” can ring hollow in a time of sadness, I’ve come to learn that it’s actually true.
Five years ago, when I wrote my first post, I couldn’t imagine that life could be happy without children. Oh sure, I knew I’d “get over it” eventually, but I never expected to move beyond the sadness.
What I’ve learned from all my sad anniversaries is that the sadness gets smaller every year, just a little at first, sometimes so little that you barely notice, until one day you can talk about the thing you’ve lost without choking on the sadness.
The sadness doesn’t completely go away, but most days it’s so small I barely notice it.
Anniversaries of all kinds are a good time to step back, reevaluate, and look back at how far we’ve come.
When I look back at some of my early posts on this blog, I see a woman who was angry and lost, but also skirting the deeper emotional truths about what she was going through. And she was still hiding in shame.
These days, I’ll admit that I don’t have much new to say. I’m still learning, of course, but much I’ve what I’ve learned on my journey has been channeled into the ebook series, which I hope will continue to help other women stepping onto this path.
Those of you who’ve been long-time readers (and thank you for your support over the years) will no doubt understand how something that once consumed every waking moment can become something you think about only once in a while.
I also know that new readers are experiencing this for the first time, and I want to maintain this community, because I know it’s one of the few places to find true support and to be able to voice what our friends and family often don’t understand.
Over the coming year, I plan to rerun some of the more helpful posts from the past five years, as well as new ones as they come up. There’ll be posts from Kathleen and me, and of course, I wouldn’t dare take away Whiny Wednesday. If you’ve been a reader for a while, it’s a good way to see how far you’ve come over the years. If you’re a new reader, I hope you’ll find these posts resonate with you.
And what will I be doing with all my spare time if I’m not writing new posts? I’ll be working on the final book in the series, due out in June. I’m also working like crazy on a new novel that I hope to be able to tell you more about soon.
And there are presents!
As this is a celebration, of course there are presents. Several people have asked me if the ebook series will be available in format other than for e-readers. The ultimate goal is to put all four ebooks together as a print book later this year, but in the meantime, I’ve created downloadable PDFs of the books.
In honor of our five years together, you can grab yourself a free copy of the first book in the series. It will be available until the end of March, and can you get your copy by using this special link.
The other two books are also now available in this format here:
So, all that’s left is to say thank you for your ongoing support, for showing up here and reminding me that I’m not alone, and for continuing to support and help one another on this journey. I’m very honored to share this space with you.