My headspace has been occupied with Single Mamahood quite a lot recently.
Duh, you say.
Sure, I've been at this Single Mamahood thing for a while now, and I've written about it here. But it's been on my brain more than usual because I've been working on a new book about, duh, Single Mamahood.
But that's not what I want to tell you about right now.
In my Googling escapades masquerading as research for my latest project, I came across something else.
And I apparently came upon this new something on the same day it was officially named a New York Times best seller.
The something is a book called Two Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Loss and Love.
The author is Matthew Logelin.
And the story is tragic.
Matthew and Liz met at age 18. They fell in love fast and hard, the way 18-year-olds are prone to do. But, unlike most adolescent love stories, their young relationship actually weathered four years of long-distance negotiations, with Matthew having stayed put in their native Minnesota and Liz having wisely chosen to leave the cold winters behind to pursue her education in a state with a more practical climate: California.
Against ridiculous odds, their love lasted.
No, it blossomed.
No, it fucking transcended.
Fast forward several years, and they were married. Fast forward a few more, and they were pregnant.
Liz's pregnancy, apparently, was difficult, and their baby tried--more than once--to meet the parents too soon.
Finally, on March 24, 2008, it was time for their baby--a girl--to arrive.
When she did, she was tiny, not quite four pounds. But she was a fighter from the first, and she persevered, just like the love her parents had for each other. And now her.
Liz, however, wasn't afforded the same opportunity.
27 hours after baby Madeline was born, without ever having held her daughter, Liz died in the hospital of a pulmonary embolism.
In the space of little more than a day, Matthew became a father and a widower.
And a Single Papa.
I haven't read the book yet, as it just came out. I did, however, spend a good deal of time on Matthew's blog.
What I read there has me thinking.
And yeah, crying a little.
The first line of his book reads, "I am not a writer."
This is a lie.
He is a writer. And he was before he ever published a book. This much is evident on his blog. The fact that he was able to articulate his loss; chronicle his heartache; and translate his raw, confused, and aching emotion into words is only something a writer, however reluctant, could do.
Just open a vein and bleed, indeed.
Of course I'll read the book now. How could I not? I'd say you should, too, except I haven't read it yet. And recommending a book you haven't read seems a little silly.
So, in absence of a book recommendation, let me make a blog recommendation. Spend some time there, get to know Matt, Maddy, and Liz. Chances are, you'll probably end up wanting to read the book.
I definitely do.
Oh, and P.S.
Matt, on the off chance you actually read this, I want to thank you for reminding me--and many hundreds of thousands of others--that Single Parenthood is tough, tragic and tremendously rewarding, no matter your gender, or your circumstances.