When I heard my twin babies cry for the first time in the delivery room, I thought my painful infertility journey was finally over. My husband of eleven years and I had been trying to get pregnant for four years before resorting to in-vitro fertilization. The process was agonizing, physically, emotionally and financially. At the time I thought nothing in life could be much worse than that experience.
I was wrong. Three weeks later, on the eve of Thanksgiving, my husband left. He said he needed “time and space” from me and the babies. “A male version of postpartum depression?”, I thought. He offered no other explanation to ease my bewilderment and shock. The next four months were dark, both literally and figuratively. It was winter in Wisconsin, and I had never felt so isolated, scared and hopeless. But I pressed forward everyday so I could take care of my babies and find my way out of this mess.
As Spring approached, I saw no signs of reversing course on the part of my husband, so I moved into my own home and started searching for answers, both to understand my husband’s decision and to attach a greater meaning to my heartwrenching ordeal. My husband finally confessed the reason for his departure: he had been cheating on me while I was pregnant and the married woman with whom he cheated was also now pregnant. He chose to be with her over me and our twin babies. He then filed for divorce.
The answers I searched for myself slowly appeared as I tried finding a community of like-minded sufferers. Unfortunately, divorce support groups grew old quickly, with the rehashing of crushed dreams and feelings of hopelessness and despair. I craved more positive, inspirational interaction, but I couldn’t find it. I believed there were others like me who needed to see examples of people who not only survived life’s lemon, but thrived. So, out of the ashes of my own catastrophe, I founded Lemonspark.
The three pillars of Lemonspark are hope, inspiration and a sense of belonging for people who have experienced an unexpected, traumatic event and need to hear stories from people who not only had a similar experience, but found that “lemon” in life “sparked” a new path for them. That new path may be starting a business, writing a book or creating a cause, but whatever it is, it gives life new purpose.
That is what Lemonspark did for me, and with my new Lemonspark podcast, I am on a mission to find more stories from “Lemon thrivers” that offer hope, inspiration and a sense of belonging to those who are facing their own lemon in life. My goal is to offer my hand to those asking “Why did this happen to me?” and lead them to the other side where purpose and joy await.