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Informal Therapy

This blog changed my life.  Ten years ago, I felt so wholly alone as we delved back into treatments to add to our family, and I found all of you.  We haven’t had the exact same experience, and we come from diverse backgrounds and make diverse decisions on how to treat our infertility or loss.  But somehow this has always worked as an informal therapy session between us.

Thank you, blogging.

Yesterday I got together with my interactive fiction club, and it immediately launched into an informal therapy session about the election.  It’s not that I haven’t had that in other spaces over the last few days, but this conversation was exactly what I needed at the exact time; to remember that there are caring individuals out there who are going to do the hard work of offering protection to groups of people and organizations that need it over the next few years, even when they are going to need protection, too.

And then last night, we turned on SNL to watch Kate McKinnon sing Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” as Hillary Clinton.  I started sobbing — just as I’m doing now, writing this — on her added stanza:

I did my best; it wasn’t much;
I couldn’t feel, so I tried to touch.
I’ve told the truth; I didn’t come to fool you.
And even though it all went wrong,
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah.

I woke up the kids and brought them into our room to watch it a second time and told them that Mr. Roger’s “look for the helpers” advice rings true.  Look for the people who are supporting you and have your back.  Support them and have their back in return.  Gravitate towards those who are publicly, loudly, and clearly denouncing the swastika graffiti that has sprouted up across America this week — like on our local middle school — as well as the racist, homophobic, and misogynistic sentiments that have come from the mouth of our president-elect and his supporters.

They’re out there.  You just need to focus on those people in the larger crowd.

Thank you, Kate McKinnon.


1 suzannacatherine { 11.13.16 at 11:05 am }

Abiding with you. Thank you for sharing The SNL video.
Amen and amen.

2 Lori Lavender Luz { 11.13.16 at 11:09 am }

Your blog changed my life, too <3

I saw your tweet last night and, being 2 hours behind you, made sure to tune in to the SNL opening segment. I'm so glad I did. I adore Kate McKinnon. So multi-talented.

I have no words about the graffiti and the sentiments behind that. I want to be among the helpers.

3 a { 11.13.16 at 11:40 am }

I’m not a huge Kate McKinnon fan, but she is undeniably talented and she did a fantastic job on that opening. I teared up too.

So sorry to hear about the graffiti – it’s not where the Chickienob and Wolvog go to school, is it? So disheartening…I wouldn’t care about the election results if it weren’t for that kind of thing popping up.

4 Beth { 11.13.16 at 1:39 pm }

I love Mr Rogers and his advice. And I love your blog. And Kate McKinnon. Thank you for reminding me of the love today.

5 Justine { 11.13.16 at 4:31 pm }

That’s what I did at our UU church this morning, too, where our minister (who realizes that he has a congregation where some people voted for our president elect, even as they hold our principles close) reminded us that we need to look for our common ground, and to look out for each other. I was sobbing, and cried even harder when two of the married gay couples came over to hug me, because I have been so worried for them, and here they were, supporting me. Standing with you on the side of love, Mel.

6 Cristy { 11.13.16 at 6:55 pm }

This past week has been hard (Leonard Cohen passing hasn’t helped), but the one silver lining of all of this is finding there are many who have stood tall and proclaimed that they will not only protect their values, but also those communities that embrace them. That love is the only answer to this. And love is a powerful thing.

Standing by you and everyone else in this.

7 Mrs T { 11.13.16 at 10:59 pm }

I’ve cried over the video three times and then cried over this post too. I’m a person who has songs from significant times in my life (is everyone a song person?) and this song will forever be associated with election 2016 now (and I suspect it will be a long, long time before I can listen to it without crying).

8 Ana { 11.14.16 at 9:15 am }

that video gave me chills when I watched it yesterday…and a much-needed cry. I listened to the song on repeat all evening. So many ways the lyrics hit home.

9 Valery { 11.14.16 at 3:43 pm }

Your blog changed my life too. made me find all of us and oh I so needed informal therapy. Thank you Mel.
So very sorry about graffiti like that on school. sending strength and hugs to stand tall against this chill going through the world.

10 Brid { 11.19.16 at 1:44 am }

As poignant and spooky as that last verse is, it is actually Leonard Cohen’s… It’s like he knew it would be needed at this very time. How they managed to put the two together at exactly the time it needed to be is beyond me, but I stayed up, sobbing (just like you said you did) till three in the morning grieving both the loss of my beloved Leonard Cohen, and what was taken from the world when it all went wrong.

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
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