It ain’t no hassle, no, it ain’t no mess
Right now it’s the only power
That I possess
These businessmen got the money
They got the instruments of death
But I can make life
I can make breath
– Ani DiFranco “Blood in the Boardroom”
That was my senior yearbook quote in high school. I thought of that this morning and a wave of grief and time-weary memories washed over me. This was my feminist statement, my powerful goddess-self proclaiming my right to exist.
Today, I thought back about how I wasn’t one of those girls who couldn’t wait to find a husband and settle down and have kids. I had way too much living to do. But I did end up getting married young. I thought that’s what you did when you were in a relationship that seemed so deep and mature.
Today, I grieve the inability to be all, do all and in the time that it feels right to my heart of hearts. Even though I spent many years exploring art and healing, while having a full-time job, it wasn’t that that held me back from having children. It was the wrong relationship. It was my own pain and trauma holding me back, too.
Today, my marriage is strong, even though it’s a lot of work. I carry this belief with me that when things get hard, quit. I’ve spent a lot of time learning not to quit, but to ask questions and dig deep to find out of the roots of my challenges are worthy of trying to keep alive, or if they need to be pulled out.
Today, it hit me that I cannot easily make life, cannot easily make breath, like Ani’s beloved song lyrics empowered me to believing. It’s going to be a little different.
* * *
I talked to my mom this morning and rehashed my meltdown of yesterday. She was soft and warm. She listened, as she is so good at doing. I needed my mommy. She lives an hour and a half away but assures me she will be around often.
Then, I went with a group of coworkers to an adult day health center and sang Christmas carols to the patients, all of whom are elderly and many are very frail. Some sang along joyfully. Others watched. One man cried while he sang with us. I looked each in the eye and smiled. Just smiled and sang. I remembered singing to my grandfather 2 years ago as he lay dying in his nursing home bed. Christmas carols came easily to him even though his body and mind were wracked with pain. We held hands and sang.
I sang my heart out and smiled until my face ached for these men and women. I had chills. In each of them is a spark of light and love that is still there. Whether or not they smiled back, I smiled and loved on them with the light of love that’s in my heart. I felt better than I have in weeks because I finally stopped thinking about me and spent time sharing song and time with others.
* * *
A friend of mine who is also going through IVF texted me on her way to her ultrasound this a.m. She is 7 weeks pregnant. She’s 10 years younger than me, but the first time I met her I knew I felt a bond. Today, she was scared. Scared that her positive results wasn’t real and scared that she’d lost the life within her. I reassured her that she has all the strength she needs to get through whatever life hands her. Then she texted me a photo and said “Heartbeat <3” I was filled with chills and I couldn’t stop smiling. 🙂 🙂
I was relieved in myself that I didn’t feel envious or wishful that I was in her place. I have my own journey. I was relieved that I’m not resentful. I was relieved that I could celebrate with my full heart for my sweet friend.
What’s different about we women in infertility treatment compared to others is that we don’t just have 2 people making a life, we have a team, we have a community. We are all in this together, holding each other’s hearts.