Give it time…the wounds will heal.
Oh how I hated hearing those words. No! You don’t understand. My heart is breaking now. My soul is bleeding. The ache is too much to bear.
When you’re in the midst of battling infertility and the losses associated with it there’s little time to
reflect. You’re too preoccupied with fear and dread, with researching protocols, arranging doctor
visits, living in expectant 28 day cycles. With it come random moments of panic. Will I one day be abandoned in a nursing home with no visitors? Does this mean I’m doomed to a life as an outsider?
Then a different set of storm clouds roll in. Steady anger eclipses the moments of panic. How dare you assume infertility is a momentary stumble? How would you have handled it you clueless, narcissistic mommy-types? The new battle. Ignorance.
The emotional gymnastics routines ultimately wore me out. Slowly, slowly as the months and years passed, the ache and the anger no longer seemed like they would swallow me whole. What? I’m still here?
Time and distance inevitably did shape and deliver new perspectives. My hyperventilating subsided. I started to take deep breaths and a calm fell over me. It is only now that I have the clarity necessary to understand how I formed my views of the future in the first place. It started when I stood only as high as my father’s waist. (That’s me in the pink coat).
The second child and oldest girl, I took cues from my mother (who made our outfits and took this snapshot). I was the “little mother” to my siblings and always expected I would assume the full-grown mother mantle and one day host large family holiday dinners. The center of the universe would shift from my mother’s kitchen to mine just as it had from my grandmother to my mother.
This snapshot is one of a series of childhood photos I scanned and inserted into a photo book in honor of my father’s
75th birthday, which took place yesterday. I am one of the lucky ones. I had a happy childhood with parents who doted but still set firm boundaries about right and wrong. It never occurred to me then that I wouldn’t have the same type of life as my parents.
I don’t have a brood of my own to fuss over but that doesn’t mean I still can’t fuss in my own way. You should have heard how delighted my dad was when he opened his gift and relived some of the highlights from his first 75 years.
A girl couldn’t ask for a better father. His patience, kindness, wisdom and sense of humor have helped me through all kinds of challenges. In pulling together the images and stories for his photobook I’ve come to appreciate that he’s given me all the tools necessary to take whatever curve balls life throws my way.