TMOM lithuania group shotNOTE: I am thrilled that TravelingMom is giving away two signed copies of my book, Press Pause Moments: Essays about Life Transitions by Women Writers. Please visit the book’s blog to listen to a podcast of PPM contributing writer Sandra Aylward read her essay, “Sisterhood of Breast Cancer Survivors” about her special healing trip to Barbados following chemotherapy and the aha moment it provides to help her go forward.

Tonight’s TravelingMom Twitter Party is about traveling to heal. When you think about it, the word heal can apply to many things, not just a health crisis. We heal from bad experiences, the loss of loved ones, mental anguish or simply the exhaustion we feel when trying to manage the many moving parts of our lives.

During tonight’s Twitter party we’ll be giving away two signed copies of my book Press Pause Moments: Essays about Life Transitions by Women Writers. The book was part of a special journey for me, one that started back in 2008 when I decided to leave the corporate world to start a business and pursue my crazy dream of becoming a published writer. One of my first “wins” was landing an article in an up-and-coming e-zine called TravelingMom!

That summer I took a special trip with my mother and two sisters to Lithuania, the country our grandparents emigrated from but that we had never visited. My mom and oldest sister were breast cancer survivors; but we took the trip knowing that Marybeth’s battle with melanoma had gone on for quite some time and we weren’t quite sure how much time was left.

The following summer, frustrated that my publishing dreams were taking too long, I decided to take matters into my own hands and create an anthology of stories written by women about their life’s transitions. As I began the process of collecting and assessing submissions, Marybeth’s health began to fail quickly. If I wasn’t traveling back and forth a few times a week between Connecticut and Massachusetts I was working on the book. Marybeth passed in November 2009.

In spring 2010 I had my own breast cancer diagnosis and lived with that for three weeks until the biopsy showed that I instead had a rare but benign breast disease that mimicked breast cancer. Through it all the book kept me going, especially the stories women told of their own challenges and their resilience in getting through their situations.

I truly believe in life there are many pieces that connect like a jigsaw puzzle. Some of the pieces fall into place easily, others we have to put to the side until we know where they fit. For me, TravelingMom, the book, my sister’s cancer and my own health issues were all pieces of a puzzle that were meant to come together at some point in time. For me tonight’s Twitter party is symbolic of that. I hope you’ll join us!