Sunday, May 1, 2011

Shifting around life dreams

It's been almost a week now since we learned the final IVF failed. It's been such a roller coaster year, more than a year actually. It started with the dream/hope of a third child, especially a daughter, then doctor visits upon visits, shots upon shots, an empty pink picture frame to be filled and pair of maternity jeans for a sort of new-age visualization boost. Then hoping, waiting, wondering.

One of the ironic costs of all that waiting and wondering is that I sometimes wasn't there emotionally as much as I could have been for the two beautiful children I already have been blessed with. I was so worried and hopeful and so attached to the someday visions of the little sister they were going to have, of her dolls, dollhouses, and pink dresses, she and I taking a coffee break together while shopping for her college clothes (I don't even drink coffee), Anika and Greg dancing at her wedding, that I often lost sight of the moment I was in.

So I ask myself the lessons to take from this. Obviously there is the importance of being in the moment. How many little real moments did I trade for these "Someday" moments I was creating in my head? Another is the lesson of gratitude. Imagine if all this had gone on eight and four years ago and I'd never had my sweet, wonderful two boys? A friend's husband was in a terrible accident a bit over a year ago. He is now in a wheelchair, unable to feed himself or use a bathroom. She says she looks back now and wonders if the accident had never happened, would she have continued to live day to day, taking for granted the blessings of health and mobility, of having a husband she could take a walk through the woods with? She is adjusting to a new reality and trying to find those happy moments in the moments as they unfold, taking less for granted.

A final lesson is one in detachment. Greg went to a Jesuit retreat awhile back and they talked a lot about the importance of detachment, of not putting your happiness into things outside yourself. In the abstract, this makes a lot of sense. No one and nothing should dictate your happiness. You choose to be happy or not. But then I think that many things outside me do make me happy: Greg, the kids, my parents, my garden, a good book, talking with a friend, walking my dog, working on my book with an iced tea and raisin bagel at my side. Without those and hundreds of others, surely I would have fewer happy moments in my life. But detachment is about the grasping, clinging, fearful quality of the wish that must come true for happiness to be felt. And I get that too.

So, signing off today, I endeavor to stay more in the moment, appreciate the myriad of blessings that I am constantly surrounded with, and let go and let God as to my dreams of a daughter.

Good wishes on all your journeys! Eileen

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