Last fall my mom had a table at an annual craft show to sell her amazing artwork, and since her painting is on the cover of my book I decided to tag along with a few of my books for sale. I didn’t really expect to sell any, and this introvert isn’t good at marketing my own work, but all it cost me was time with my mom and helping her with her customers.
A few people inquired about the book, and my sweet mom made sure to tell people about it as they passed. One friend of my mom’s commented that her daughter was through all that now, as if you ever get over infertility. Perhaps it was her polite way of saying she didn’t want to buy a copy. And that, in itself, is fine.
One woman in particular, possibly in her late fifties or early sixties, that I spoke with had gone through infertility years earlier and it was obvious it still had a profound impact on her. When I spoke with her about my collection of poems her emotion was evident. I shared with her how we now foster newborns and she seemed interested, as if having a baby to care for could help ease her decade’s old wounds.
Neither she, nor my mom’s friend, nor anyone else bought a copy that day. People hear the word infertility and assume it’s such a narrow topic, narrow period of time. But infertility leaves scars, at the very least impressions, that are long lasting. Just as any major life change.
What woman goes through child birth and doesn’t want to share her story, isn’t interested in hearing the stories of other woman who have had similar experiences, whether an emergency c-section, or particularly long labor? What parent of multiples doesn’t find reading stories of other parents of multiples inspiring, encouraging, a sanity check?
So to those who believe my little book has no value beyond the confines of those years of infertility, I beg to differ. We all gravitate to stories that resonate with our own experiences. We all find solace in knowing we are not alone on our particular journey. We all reach out for those things that touch the deep places within us and those we love.
I would argue that Counting Colors is the perfect book for anyone who has ever experienced loss, heartache, grief. Is the perfect book for those who love anyone who has gone through those things. In reading the stories of others we can identify with people going through similar circumstances.
Yes, my book is about my journey. It’s about infertility. It’s about adoption. It’s about motherhood and the quest for it. But it’s about so much more. Loss and heartache and joy are universal.
You don’t have to buy my book. But please don’t think that just because someone is on the other side of infertility that their journey is done. That there’s no benefit to being exposed to the stories of others. Because we all have our own story, our own history. And we all want to know we’re not alone.
grace for each moment, one moment at a time