Friday, August 11, 2006
Em at Three
Last night I woke up and began thinking about Emily not being here and I couldn’t sleep. I don’t drink, but last night, I think I would have had several glasses of wine. If I could have tolerated the taste. And if we had any in the house.
When I was eight years old, my mother died from cancer. Ever after that, I was haunted by a sense of loss of a family, especially after my older sister, living with us temporarily to take care of me, moved away from home and into an apartment with her husband and baby. Even when my father remarried and my step mother moved in, that connection was never really the same. Then my step mother died when I was twelve, and it was just my dad and me for a long time. I knew that I could not change the past – I could never get my mother back. But I could become the mother.
I waited patiently as the years passed, believing that God would restore what had been lost. I went to college, graduated, and began teaching school. I waited. Around me, my girlfriends were marrying; couples hooked up and began families. I waited. I dated guys, but none of them seemed to fit that picture in my head of my husband and the father of my children. I began to worry that it might not happen for me.
Then Tim came into the picture. He was right in every way. We married. He was 31 and I was 27, almost 28, so we didn’t want to wait too long before starting a family. Months passed and still I did not become pregnant. After a year had gone by, I started seeing a fertility doctor. Eventually I was diagnosed with endometriosis. I began a series of treatments: drugs, fertility pills, hormone treatments, tests, laser surgery… I read books on the subject of fertility. I was ready to do whatever it took.
Each month, when I discovered that I still wasn’t pregnant, became a teary session of longing and prayer. Eventually, I came to a place of faith in which I believed that God wanted me to be happy. Whether I had a child or not, He was building and developing my faith and trust in Him, and that should be my goal, not endless longing for what I envisioned my future should be. I relaxed, calmed down, and sought His will. Then I got pregnant. Finally, after two years and four months of various treatments and intense hoping, I became pregnant. Then came a kind of joyous, edge-of-your-seat type waiting, again praying that I would not lose the child, but at the same time trying to be submissive to God’s will.
Nine months later, right on schedule, Emily was born: A beautiful healthy child and the joy of my life. Then two years later came Samuel, no hassle whatsoever. There was my dream - right before my eyes. I felt so blessed, even though being a stay-at-home mom was possibly the hardest thing I had ever done – especially when taking care of an infant and a toddler. Wow.
So for the past eighteen and a half years, I have been living that life I envisioned. Tim is a great husband and father, and both my kids are pretty good, too. Not perfect, but no serious concerns like drugs or drinking. And I know I have not been the perfect mother; that goes without saying. But we have been happy.
Now I need to begin to create a new vision for my future, so I don’t get this black hole vision when I think about the empty nest. Back to the prone before God position.