Wisdom from my Nonna.

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She grabbed my face with both of her hands, smiling so wide I thought her face would split in two.

“Megan,” she said.

“I’m so happy for you. When the love is good, you wait.”

Those were the words my Nonna spoke to me at my bridal shower a little over two years ago.

She gleefully attended the luncheon that my mother and my bridal party had prepared for me, prancing around the room as the sprightly, vivacious, ninety-two-year-old that she was at the time. …

Gentle reminders for busy mamas.

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Oftentimes we get wrapped up in doing it all, and wanting it all, and being it all, so much so that we stretch ourselves so thin it’s a wonder we don’t break.

I hope you do all the things you want to do. I hope you start that business, write that book, teach that class, become a doctor, a lawyer, and an avid runner. I hope you learn how to cook if that makes you happy or bake if that’s your preference. I hope you go back to school if that’s what you want to do, and purchase that home…

Lessons on how to navigate supporting a friend or family member going through fertility treatments.

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There’s no poetic way to put this — undergoing fertility treatments is a limbo state of constant stress. It’s full of tears, and it’s full of hope. There are times when you feel as though you can catch your breath and too many moments when it feels hard to breathe. It’s a test of strength, of fortitude, of patience, of resilience.

Fertility treatments are not for the faint of heart.

They also require a tremendous amount of sensitivity from surrounding loved ones and friends.

Suppose you know someone who is undergoing such treatments. In that case, I’d urge you not…

Lessons from my Nonna.

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Every Sunday when she was a child, my Nonna would go to her grandmother’s house. It was a short walk to the “big house,” as they called it. The truth of it was that it wasn’t big at all, but to a child, I suppose all houses other than the one you live in can seem castle-like. My great-grandmother would make these excellent meals with soup chock full of meat, and fresh vegetables, and garlic, and loaves upon loaves of fresh bread that she would divide amongst the family to last them for the week.

Even as a child, Nonna…

A poem

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I hope you’re the kind of person who keeps their promises.

I hope when you promise to be where — you show up. You arrive in times of heartache, armed with ice cream and pizza and the occasional bottle of red wine, ready to tackle the cracks and mend the scars. You’re there to listen, to be a shoulder to cry on, to give words of encouragement and support and truth. You’re there to hold their flashlight as they try and make their way out of the dark.

I hope you show up for baseball games, dance recitals, and concerts…

Here are five tips to make it a little less stressful.

Photo by ZSun Fu on Unsplash

When you’re trying to conceive a child, you will inevitably encounter what is called the two-week wait, the time when you ovulate and either get your period or a positive pregnancy test.

If you are undergoing fertility treatments, whether it be IVF or IUI or medicated cycles, or surrogacy — this time can feel like a particular sort of hell. You’ve already been poked and prodded more times than you can count. You’ve already held the pieces of your heart within your hands, wondering how on earth you’d put them back together.

You have jumped through every hoop imaginable —…

Gentle reminders for well-meaning souls.

Photo by Yuris Alhumaydy on Unsplash

A woman has a miscarriage.

Immediately, everyone around her wants to know what happened, and a slew of questions come. Was the baby sick? Was she sick? Did she do something to incur such a tragedy? Did her husband? Her partner? Did her doctor miss something, did she not adhere to specific standards or guidelines? Was she too old? Was it genetics? Losing a baby is a horrific experience that nobody wants to imagine, something that everyone entering parenthood wants to avoid.

And so, you ask questions to figure out what happened so that you can find a reason.

A couple married for upwards of fifteen years gets divorced.

Immediately, everyone around them wants to…

A poem

Photo by Becca Tapert on Unsplash

When we talk about forever love,
we often conjure images of sparkly rings,
and pretty dresses,
and bouquets of roses,
and dancing until midnight as you toast to champagne.

And while those moments are lovely,
and beautiful,
and fill our hearts with joy and happiness and glee,
too often, we forget that forever love is found
in the ordinary moments that make a life.

It is found in times of sickness,
when you’re finding it hard to keep your heart afloat,
when you’re body is weary,
and all you need to do is fall into the arms of the one you love…

A poem

Photo by Kadri Karmo on Unsplash

Sometimes, it’s easy to let your fear rule you,
to let it stop you from making a move, and
to let it whisper lies that keep you small, and
to let it talk you out of championing for yourself.

It’s easy to let that happen; this is true —
but I hope you resist those feelings when they bubble to the surface,
and instead, I hope you let your fear fuel you.

I hope you let your fear push you to that next level, and
bring you to the end of the finish line, and
take the first step outside of…

A poem

Photo by Christopher Sardegna on Unsplash

I hope you let yourself be loved.

I hope the person that you give your heart to adores you,
and celebrates you,
and stands beside you in good times and bad.

I hope you find someone who loves the way you laugh,
and the way you crinkle your nose when you cry,
and the face you make when you sleep with your mouth agape.

I hope they love the way you dance,
and the way you hate surprises,
and the fact that you love the cheesiest movies ever made.

I hope you let yourself be loved,
but I hope you let…

Megan Minutillo

I write essays and poetry about life lessons, love, relationships, and self-awareness. More info: meganminutillo.com. Find me on Instagram: @meganminutillo.

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