Because Matthew Logelin's Two Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Loss & Love has put everything back into painful perspective for me. As a mother, a writer, and a person.
Even though I've followed Matt's blog for the better half of Maddy's life and read back to the tragic beginning, I never knew exactly how this book would affect me.
As a mother it tore me apart multiple times to think of what this family has endured.
But another part that sank into me on a less dramatic level was exactly what I needed.
I've not been present online the way I used to be and it's been for a reason. I can say that life has moved quickly and that things are busy and this and that and the other, but it comes right down to me not feeling secure here (online) anymore.
My blog was used as an excuse for some ugly things to be said to me once. And those ugly things were followed with ugly things that other people apparently say about me because of my blog. And on top of that, I was told that people laugh at me and judge me and criticize me for the things that I say or do or post on my blog.
And even though that's now long ago and far away...well, there's a quote that I've always agreed with that says something to the effect of "you may forget what they did, you may forget what they said...but in the end, you'll never forget how they made you feel".
And that's true in any instance.
Including this one.
Because that's always been something in the back of my head when I write anything at all now.
And then I read Matt's book and I remembered why I blog in the first place....why I put every part of my personality out there (good or bad) and share my life.
All of it.
Because there's a community of people who are so good because they're the people who have been there and helped us through the bad.
They're why I blog.
Because when I needed an outlet, when I needed to write I did just that and I found support and friendship and love and a whole community of people that I can't imagine not having in my life now.
They're why I write. And they're some of the best friends I have, so why cut this part of my life out just because it doesn't meet everyone else's standards and expectations?
I can no longer find a good reason to.
So I'm here.
And I'm back.
And I don't care who likes it.
Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a ten-year-old, and an infant.