Friday, January 20, 2017

Begin Again.

He is everything. He is every good thing in my world. He is also deepest sadness. Not because of him, but because he came with story. Words. He couldn't even speak when we opened our family to take this little guy in. But in him there was written every word of my past. Every word of the broken family I come from.

He is my sister's son. I am his aunt. And yet, I am not. They asked me if I would take him. If I would be his mother. My sister unable to mother him. Until that moment I did not know how many words could fill a person, how could you ache with words and yet all I could say was, "Yes." It was enough to say. I didn't know. But it was enough.

This little boy is now six years old. Words I see in him now are health, joy, hope.
But when he came to us with all the words that he couldn't even speak I found there were so many words that I could not say either. His story met my story and for a while we were still together inside this sadness. Both of us grieving. For everything he had lost and everything I had lost.
Words are like that sometimes. They still you. They take you to your knees. They sit within you like an internal bleed and you think that you are this weak thing, hemorrhaging with the very story of your past even though you can speak no words.

So, I stopped writing. For a while there was only me, this little boy, my husband, my other sons. Family. A new family that required everything I had to leave behind shadows. To believe that I could create in my adult life what childhood took. To sit with those words I couldn't yet speak and tell myself to breathe.

And then it happened.
Not suddenly. But surely.
That little boy learnt to speak.
And so did I.

I found my writing again too. And I wrote. In his nap times, while his brothers were at school. I wrote. A new book. Still with aching words. Still on my knees. But this time I was myself.
I wasn't trying to find clever ways to say things, if indeed clever things even matter. I simply let my honest, vulnerable words out. The words that little boy brought with him. His grief. My grief. His loss. My loss. The words were true, even though the story I was writing was made up. Something good emerged from a past that wasn't.

And I am back here. On this blog. With a new book now on submission and a third under way.
And I want to tell you this.
Begin again.
If you need to hear that like I need to hear that. Begin. Again.
Gather whatever words you have inside you, it isn't too late. And, when you can, bring those words out in whatever way feels right for you. Because sometimes the stories that most need to be told are the hardest to tell. And sometimes the person who needs to hear your words is you. But it might surprise you that others need to hear them too. You matter. And so do your honest, achy words.


  1. Hi Tabitha,
    I hope that both of you can breathe through your loss and grief and the words come spilling out in a soothing and healing way. I hope that once they are there, you are able to make sense of them and you both feel peace and completeness.
    I'm looking forward to bookclub this coming year and getting to know you guys better. I feel privileged being able to spend time with all of you.

  2. Thanks so much for visiting my blog Steve. And thank you for your kind words. :) I am also really looking forward to bookclub this year and to getting to know everyone better. It's so amazing to share my love of words with others who also love words :)

  3. Oh dear God, Tab, you are such a gifted writer. This is one of the most exquisite posts I've ever seen. I am so glad you found your voice again. And your wonderful new son as well. What a gift you both are to each other. He's a very lucky one indeed to have landed with you and Matt.

    1. Aww! Thank you! Your words make me smile big today :)
      Yes, I have my words back. Quite a lot of them actually. A whole new books worth and a third on the way. I sound pregnant saying that. I guess I am. Pregnant with words! Ha! Thanks for stopping by my friend x

  4. I am over-the-top delighted to find this post. I wish you such joy and comfort and peace. You have learned what I think I've known all along, but which has taken the words of others to help me to understand. Writing is healing. I'm so pleased to know it works for you, too. Blessings to you, your nephew and the rest of your family.

    1. Liza! My beautiful writing friend who takes such stunning photographs :) Thank you for stopping by. Blessings to you too. Yes, words can heal. Writing is healing for many. For us. For me :) Love and hugs x

  5. Yes! You have bravely held the space for this child and your own dear self. So very happy you are back writing your heart. Can't wait to read those books.