Retreat, this year, could have been themed ‘Write it out’. I know, hard to find party favors for that, and Fiesta was certainly much more festive. The message that left with me was ‘Write, don’t stop, keep writing.’ It could have been Michelle Thorn’s discussion of her book and how she self-published, hearing her discuss the details with several other women in the room. It could have been listening to the young man discuss how he cherished the letters from his birthmom, how he looked forward to them. Maybe it was the journal we all received in our swag bags, the pen in my door prize box. It could have been Lani’s session on how to write our stories, how to start simple and add detail as time goes on. I don’t know, but I left charged to write, don’t stop, keep writing.
Soon, I will sit down and write out a version of my story, of Monkey’s story, to use to introduce Sugar Butt to the idea that Monkey exists. It will be hard, for sure. I will over analyze it a million times. I will attempt to find a way to work towards having it published into a children’s book, maybe titled ‘All Because I Love You’ (the present tense is intended). I’m sure I will find a better title, that the story will mold a little in the process.
I need to start writing Monkey again – maybe monthly, maybe yearly. I have a black journal that should be filled with letters to him at this point in his life. I am ashamed to admit that it is not even ¼ of the way full. What I learned this weekend, though, was that stopping for a time does not mean you cannot restart. Not restarting is more harmful than having to explain why there is a gap. He’s still young; this gap may even go unnoticed. A gap for the rest of his life certainly will.
I will be reading Michelle’s book over the coming weeks, learning from it and crying with her. I will be taking this inspiration and using it, holding it. Even if the letters are never read by a single soul outside of myself, they need to be written. The emotions need to be worked through, over, around.
With Love Always