Thank you all so much for your wonderful comments. They deserve a post of their own and will get it in Part 3. This is continued where I left off from my prior post “Patience, reflection and time – Part 1.”
As I started to cry down in the field, my dear friend M tried to comfort me. She put her arms around me and held me tight. She cried too and offered many words of encouragement. “I know that we were destined to have families together. Just think about it, we went back to school at the same time, we were laid off from our boring jobs at almost the same time – me first and then you a few months later, and I know you will be right behind me with your family.” I nodded my head, dried my eyes (swearing to myself I wouldn’t cry that day in public again), put on a smile and said, “We’ll see. I hope so too, that would make an amusing story to tell, wouldn’t it?” We continued picking and talking for another thirty minutes. I turned the conversation back to her, their baby and plans for the house and the future. Eventually our little buckets were full, the blueberries weighed and paid for, then we headed out for lunch.
While eating lunch we talked about many things. Eventually, she expressed how worried she was about telling me her news. I gently admitted it was kind of hard for me to have a good friend who I confided in over the years suddenly show up 7 months along. I understood why she waited but I thought it would have been easier knowing that she was at least trying. She seemed slightly annoyed and upset at my confession (sting). She admitted that they didn’t try for very long (another sting). Then she started to tell me how I would be pregnant soon anyway and how we were going to have our kids play together, take day trips, go to the zoo, etc.
I told M I wished she would be right, but I didn’t know. The odds over the years were starting to creep against me and this was making me terribly afraid. She became a little frustrated, but smiled anyway and hugged me as she was leaving. She encouraged me to stop being pessimistic, stop being so scientific, looking at odds and statistics. I needed to have a little more faith in the magic that it would happen. She knew because she has a great feeling about this and that I’ll see. “That’s not quite fair” I told her, “I was very much full of hope in the beginning, but realistic expectations must have a place too. After a while, if you don’t do that, you will absolutely break down. The potential lifts you up and every month, then the failure crashes you down. You have not watched your chances slip as each birthday passes. You have not walked the years and years in my shoes, on my path. I appreciate the prayers, good hopes, faith and optimism of all my friends. Wish very very hard for me. I do too, but respect also my need to protect my heart.”
She nodded as she got into her car, but she did not understand, and that’s OK. She doesn’t need to. I knew I had a cadre of people who unfortunately do understand. Who appreciate my situation in a unique way and in that I NEVER feel alone. If if weren’t for this blog, the ALI community, I wouldn’t have made it through that day with a shred of integrity or grace. So many of you are my heroes, for your kindness, your perseverance, your intelligence, your wit.
I drove home in utter silence, playing the day over in my mind. No tears hit my eyes. All I felt was a load of cotton in my throat and a big ball of empty in my chest. I needed to be home. I was tired of being in public. I wanted the opportunity to process all this in solitude. I finally got home, walked down to my garden, sat right next to my wind chimes and waited for the wave of emotion to crash over me. The tears to come. The understanding to begin.
It didn’t crash. No tears came. I didn’t understand.
All I felt was The Ache. The Big Empty. My throat jammed with cotton, each swallow like razorblades. I sat there, unmoving for two hours, trying to understand what The Ache was. Exactly how and what I truly felt. I didn’t know. I searched my mind, my heart, my soul. The puzzle didn’t fit. What was this empty, cold feeling in my chest? Anger? Guilt? Worry? Shame? Fear? Bitterness? Jealously? Sorrow? I truly didn’t know.
continued in Part 3…