Embryonically, I had the idea for Band Back Together after my daughter, Amelia, was born and landed in the NICU with an extremely rare neural tube defect called an encephalocele. I'd run multiple-user blogs before; in fact, my first blog was a group project. But the idea of creating a space like this was daunting.

First, I had to figure out what the hell this space was supposed to be. My initial thought was to make it a place for special needs parents. Then I figured that I should add my baby loss and infertile friends into the mix. Then I realized that I was thinking too narrowly. I've never limited what I do on my own blog (I don't, I want you to know, think of this as my own blog. I think of it as yours), so why should I start here?

Band Back Together is a light in the darkness.

Our darkness may not look the same, it may not feel the same, but underneath, we are all the same, and we are all so very good. This space and the community we have created proves it.

I am truly honored to have all of your stories here. I believe in what we're doing. I believe that each of your stories will touch somebody else who may still be in the dark. I believe that someday, someone will stumble here and find your words, and when they do, they will be moved. They will sit on the other side of the computer monitor, just as you are now, and they will feel the light breaking through the darkness. They will feel hope.

You may not think that what you do is important. You are wrong. You may feel like your story isn't good; it isn't enough. You are wrong.

Every word you write connects you to another.

So please, Pranksters, write hard. Help me get our words; our stories to other people. Tell your stories - all of them - and please, help me spread the word about the site. It's time to take Band Back Together to 11.

December 31, 2009, I wrote this,

So I approach 2010 full of renewed hope for the future, because no matter how full of the darkness I feel, I can feel the light on my face and I know it's all around me. Soon it will be within me.

I am hopeful.

I have hope.

Happy New Year.

Through you, I have found my light. I was right. It is so, so good.

Thank you for helping me find my light.

A very Happy Thanksgiving to each of you, Pranksters.

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