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There is this weird stillness in the house where you’re not really sure how to feel. Is it happiness or sadness or exhaustion or simply an entirely new emotion that has yet to be named that comes at the end of a long journey.

I think I just wrote my final words for the book.

Since all of the chapters were written out of order, and even sections within the chapter were written as a thought struck, I wrote my final thoughts on a section about milestones in the Parenting after Infertility chapter (and…um…hint hint hint to my editor, please leave this sentence in so this post makes sense years down the road):

“It took time to get to a place where I could see the joy in the event through the tears.”

I don’t think I could have written something more fitting for a last line if I tried. What a long strange journey this book has been. And for me, it has this bizarre significance with so much that came before it. Four years ago this week, I was finishing my last book: the one that I had stopped writing so I could focus on treatments and subsequently lost out on the book deal. And now, once again, on the very same week, I have finished a book that I stopped treatments to write. It is this bizarre world of yin and yang. An inverse of an experience.

The number four is not lost on me either with its importance in gematria (which, by the way, I never believe in until it has significance to me and then I believe it with all my heart–sort of like my horoscope). Four is equated with creation. And what does it all boil down to beyond balancing out our different paths towards creation. We create on small levels every single day even when we dismiss those small creations because we’re not achieving the big creations. Sitting with that final line, it made me realize how long it took to apply it to everywhere else in life too: seeing the joy through the tears. Noticing the small creations amongst the large ones. And not dismissing any part of life in order to experience another.

This has been a horrible week for reasons that are not mine to tell. I am always shy about telling someone else’s story on this blog–even the twins and Josh–because their story is not my story to tell. But all through this week, when I start crying, Josh keeps reminding me about the joy and I keep dismissing it with only noticing the source for the tears. And I think I needed to write that last line in so many more ways than just as a closure to a final chapter.

This does not mean the book is actually finished. Isn’t that confusing? I now enter a month of edits with the editor and turn in the final manuscript in September. And then it has to go through a bunch of other edits and changes and waiting until it comes out on bookshelves next spring. And by that time, I hope to be firmly ensconced in the other book I have felt was missing from shelves and am planning to write after this one (that’s another hint–this time to the publisher). So, this is merely a pause inside all of the activity still to come. But that was the last new line on the first draft of the manuscript.

I wanted to mark this stillness in some way because it feels so odd even though I know what happens next. And I want to apologize publicly to my editor for being so wordy.

I am celebrating with water ice this afternoon and in diving into stuff for the Bridges site. And just running with the new energy that builds out of the stillness.


1 bleu { 07.29.08 at 1:23 pm }

Congrats my friend. That is so amazing and incredibly impressive.

This is such a huge thing, I hope you r celebration is joy filled and you take a little time to really let it sink in.

2 A Decade of BFNs { 07.29.08 at 1:38 pm }

Awesome! I can not wait for your book to hit the shelves. I always told DH you were an excellent writer… wait until I tell him you wrote a book!!! (Since I have not gone way back on the blog yet…this was the first I was hearing of it.)


3 kate { 07.29.08 at 1:48 pm }

Oh! Congratulations to you! What a major, major event! I imagine I would feel “still” as well after completing such an undertaking.

And here’s hoping that your editor gets all of your hints!

4 Heather.PNR { 07.29.08 at 1:56 pm }

Congratulations on reaching such an enormous, wonderful milestone!

5 Jen { 07.29.08 at 1:58 pm }

Hooray! Congratulations!

So, can I order the book now?

6 N { 07.29.08 at 2:02 pm }

Congratulations. šŸ˜€

7 A.M.S. { 07.29.08 at 2:04 pm }

You ARE coming here for a book signing, right?

HUGE congrats to you. What a fantastic thing you have done!

8 Tash { 07.29.08 at 2:04 pm }

Woowee. That’s something. A bit of the bittersweet I suppose, as you now release it to the wind. Can’t wait, and enjoy the water ice.

9 luna { 07.29.08 at 2:19 pm }

huge congrats to you, my friend. that is such a significant accomplishment! I’m glad you were able to take a moment to bask in the satisfying stillness of completion, even if your work is not yet done. enjoy the water ice. what flavor?

what a lovely last line too, dripping with reflection and substance.

I hope your family is well and I’m sorry for the difficulties you are facing. all my best to you and yours.

10 Feliz Dianne Flutter { 07.29.08 at 2:23 pm }

Congratulations! I know that there are many more steps, but just finishing it is impressive!

11 m { 07.29.08 at 2:33 pm }

Oh Mel, what a time! You must be relieved, and exhausted, but a little confused by all the stillness? What a great post. And some poignant last lines.

Enjoy your water ice. Enjoy the joy, and start planning that book tour!

12 PJ { 07.29.08 at 2:50 pm }

Congratulations on completing your book!

Your final line, is just beautiful.

13 Lori { 07.29.08 at 2:53 pm }


Enjoy your stillness. You have certainly earned it.


14 Tara { 07.29.08 at 3:29 pm }

Congratulations – I am looking very forward to reading your book!

15 Kymberli { 07.29.08 at 3:47 pm }

Many congratulations to you. I understand that feeling of stillness so very well.

16 Julia { 07.29.08 at 4:03 pm }

Congratulations! May the next steps go smoothly. Can’t wait for the book to hit the shelves (or the review tours… hint-hint).

17 Mrs Woggie { 07.29.08 at 5:37 pm }

Congratulations on reaching that wonderful milestone. I hope with all my heart your book makes it to Australia. I would love to read it. All the best with the next party of your journey. And thank you for introducing me to the world of infertility blogs. The last few weeks, they have been what I have lived for.

18 Anjali { 07.29.08 at 5:51 pm }

That last line gives me chills, and makes me even more anxious to read the book.


19 Just Me. { 07.29.08 at 6:12 pm }


So, how can I get a copy of this book??


20 loribeth { 07.29.08 at 6:15 pm }

Spring seems waaaayyyyy too long to wait! But I’m looking forward to reading it! Love your last line.
Enjoy the stillness… I’m sure it wont’ last long… ; )

21 katd { 07.29.08 at 6:17 pm }

What an accomplishment, Mel. Those are fantastic words to “end” with. I hope you do experience some joy through the stillness. šŸ™‚

22 annacyclopedia { 07.29.08 at 6:57 pm }

I’m so excited for your book to come out – congratulations on making the world a better place in such a tremendous way that will reach so many people.

I hope there’s time in the stillness to savour your accomplishments and feel proud for all you have done.

23 Cibele { 07.29.08 at 7:53 pm }

Congratulations, you are an amazing woman!

24 Sassy { 07.29.08 at 9:38 pm }

Congratulations. I hope you do something special for yourself today.

25 Topcat { 07.29.08 at 10:05 pm }

That is just so awesome. Even though I don’t know what water ice is … I hope it’s good! And I hope your PR tour includes Australia!! xoxoxxoxoxo

26 Ms Heathen { 07.30.08 at 4:49 am }

Congratulations, Mel! What a fantastic achievement!

Looking forward to reading the book when it comes out. Any chance you’ll make it to the UK for a tour/signing?!?

27 Isn't it pretty to think so { 07.30.08 at 5:44 am }

Mazal Tov! I look forward to getting my signed copy! šŸ™‚

28 theclam { 07.30.08 at 5:47 am }

Wow, I cannot imagine the sense of wonder, relief, fear etc that must have brought along with it… Congrats on those final words! They are poignant and fitting indeed.

29 beagle { 07.30.08 at 7:15 am }

You amaze me Lolli!

(Hey, when are you coming to visit? Soon, no?)

30 ms. c { 07.30.08 at 7:39 am }

Much mazel to you, Mel! I actually teared up reading this post. How wonderfully amazing.

(Can`t wait to order my 10 copies.)

31 Caro { 07.30.08 at 8:07 am }


32 Karen { 07.30.08 at 9:26 am }

Congratulations, my friend. It’s been a long journey. I’ll be first in line for an autographed copy, okay? I’m so glad I checked in on you today. I’ve been out of blogland a few days…


33 Pamela Jeanne { 07.30.08 at 12:19 pm }

You’ve achieved so much — and your book will help so many. What a proud and important moment. We celebrate with you!

34 LJ { 07.30.08 at 12:44 pm }

“Four years ago this week, I was finishing my last book: the one that I had stopped writing so I could focus on treatments and subsequently lost out on the book deal. And now, once again, on the very same week, I have finished a book that I stopped treatments to write. It is this bizarre world of yin and yang. An inverse of an experience.”

That really is quite amazing, Mel. I am so proud of you for getting through what you have been working on lately – both personally and professionally. It’s a frickin’ lot to deal with – for anyone. Somehow you manage to come through it with such grace, and it just gets me misty because I can call you one of my dearest friends – and perhaps because the fates allowed it.

35 Kristin { 07.30.08 at 1:42 pm }

Congrats on this accomplishment. I can’t wait to read your book!

36 nancy { 07.30.08 at 4:36 pm }

Mel, Congratulations on making it to this very important day in your writing life. I am so very proud of you.

Take time and acknowledge just what you have accomplished. Be proud of yourself. So many of “us” think you are amazing, I hope you are able to see in yourself what we see in you everyday.

Also, ~hugs~ on the thing you mentioned but couldn’t talk about. I wish whomever is having an issue well.

37 deanna { 07.30.08 at 5:37 pm }

What truly wonderful, exciting news!
Congrats on all your hard work!

38 Piccinigirl { 07.31.08 at 11:19 am }

Congratulations Mel, I can’t wait to read it.

it does take time to see the joy admist the tears and I still find it hard some days. It’s a beautiful way to end a work that speaks for so many of us. Thank you.

39 Arpee { 07.31.08 at 6:38 pm }

Enjoy the stillness, Mel! You deserve it after all the work you’ve put into the book.

Looks like someone has dived into another project though! More power to you, girl!

40 JamieD { 07.31.08 at 7:23 pm }

Congratulations and HUGS!! I can’t wait to read it.

I know the feeling – stillness is a good word for it. When I have been so consumed with something and then it is just . . . over. Very strange.

41 Bea { 08.03.08 at 9:32 am }

I’m sorry you’ve had a shitty week. I hope it gets better soon.

On the other hand, congrats on the book. Can’t wait to hear about the next project.


(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
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