It’s Christmas Day. My 35th Christmas. Mom, Dad, Mark, and I went and saw War Horse at the theater – a Christmas tradition to go to the movies while my siblings are away celebrating with their in-laws. Our festivities were last night.
So often I find myself shying away from this space anymore, because I assume no one wants to read about my sadness anymore. ‘Enough, already’, I hear my readers say. But today I am reclaiming this space as mine – for my journaling and cataloging my life, my thoughts, and my journey – not for anyone else, but for me, and whoever may come after me…
…which of course is the root of my pain right now. How can this always come to bite me when I get to a place that I feel resolved that I will not have children? When I’ve convinced myself that I can live a full life without any? When I agree with that voice in my head that says, ‘you’re too old, too tired, too particular to have children.’?
Last night when all my nieces and nephews were excitedly opening their gifts with moms and dads, aunts and uncles, grandma and grandpa gathered around seeing it all through their eyes – all I could do was look at my parents and think of what they have, what I’ll never have. Their progeny. Their legacy. The life they will leave behind. That death wont end with them. They will live on, always, through their children and grandchildren. They had a home full of love and life. And I couldn’t help but picture myself at their age, feeling as lonely as the tree in my picture looks.
And I write this and have to make myself not erase it, for fear of what you (anyone reading this) are thinking. ‘Get over it.’ ‘Look at what you do have.’ ‘You don’t have to be alone.’ All of the judgment that I assume I receive. But I’m not going to. I’m going to keep it right here. Because it’s my story. And my inner world. And it’s true for me. And this is my space.
I couldn’t stop my tears even long after the movie today, which was really moving, but I had to take the time to write in hopes to get this out of my system so I can move past this today, because I know these tears are not for a horse and his boy, but for the loss and grief that may be with me forever. Maybe I should just surrender to that, instead of fooling myself into resolve.
And, oh, my gosh, my family is wonderful and I am so blessed to have them in my life. This grief does not take away from that, by any means. I imagine that I can love my nieces and nephews in ways that my siblings never could love theirs, since I don’t have my own to love. I get a lot of joy out of watching them together, my brothers’ and sister’s kids, playing, being kind, and loving each other. I imagine my own children in the mix of cousin play, and I long for it so.
There are times I wonder ‘why?’. And when I quickly realize that asking that question does not help, I try to remember this beautiful prayer:
“God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the Courage to change the things I can, and the Wisdom to know the difference.”
And I pray for guidance to know where to turn for any help I may receive in conceiving and carrying a child to term. And I beat myself up for all the ways I don’t try and for all of my excuses and justifications of why not. And all I can ask is for strength, O Lord, every day, to bear the burdens you have decided I seem fit to carry.