Each Thanksgiving I take the time to post the things I’m thankful for and this is no exception. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and that you have time to reflect on your life and what you’re thankful for.
I’m thankful I have a wonderful family, and that (hopefully) they’re enjoying their Thanksgivings.
I’m thankful my father found a job.
I’m thankful that I have food to eat and that there’s a spot at someone’s table for me.
I’m thankful for the skill / talent / time to be able to contribute to dinner.
I’m thankful for the roof over my head, the car in the garage, the clothes on my back.
I’m thankful for the friends I have, even if we can’t see each other.
I’m thankful for my health.
I’m thankful for the little business idea I’m working on.
I’m thankful that you’re reading.
I’m thankful for my best friend. I’m thankful that we get to spend the day together, that we have each other, and that we’ll have our own little thanksgiving this weekend. I’m thankful for his love, his affection and his kindness.
I can live without children. This sounds so different from how I felt just a couple of years ago, but it’s true. Sometimes I still want a baby, but I no longer feel like I need to have children. My feelings are fleeting. I want to hold my baby, to feel what it’s like to have your baby kick. I want to have a baby fall asleep in my arms. But, I don’t want to see them suffer with illness, I don’t want tantrums or potty training. I don’t want kids in reality, I want the commercial version. It’s taken me a long time, but my maternal drive can be directed elsewhere. Maybe there’s a reason I dealt with infertility, a reason I was not able to carry a pregnancy to term, a reason adoption never worked out. I think it was so I could really evaluate this decision.
I can live without a wedding ring. I sometimes wish I was married to him, because it makes our relationship more permanent to the rest of the world. Because people understand the concept better than the one where people two live together. It’s easier to say husband than boyfriend and it signifies that two people are committed. But, I know he is committed to me. Our relationship means a lot, even if not legally. I want to spend the rest of my life with him, and he reciprocates that. I don’t need a ring, a piece of paper or a ceremony to know how he feels and to show the world how we feel. We can demonstrate our love without it.
I won’t be with my family for Thanksgiving or Christmas. He works and I didn’t want to choose between him and them.
I thought, instead, we could visit them in January. When he can take time off (since vacation time can’t happen for him at the holidays)
I figured we could see my parents a few weeks after new years, in time to spend their birthdays with them.
This morning he mentioned he doesn’t want to go. He’d rather visit when the weather is better. He’s not stopping me, but he’d rather wait.
Nothing had been decided, but I mentioned the January idea several times. I sensed some hesitation but I figured he just felt bad that I wouldn’t see them at Christmas.
Now, I’m kind of sad and disappointed. Mostly because I wish he had told me outright, but also because I don’t want to wait another six months to see my family.
I didn’t have it in me today to go to a baby shower. I often think I’m past all that old hurt. That celebrations of other people’s babies should no longer make me wish for what might have been.
But, I’m not always as strong as I’d like to think I am. After a morning of feeling homesick and being sad that I won’t see my family at the holidays, I couldn’t do it. I didn’t want to sit in a room full of fertile young Mormon women and talk about how I don’t have children.
I still have sadness. I still mourn for the babies I lost, for the mother I could have been.
I’m not sure I’ve had too many heroes in my life. My main heroes have been my parents. My parents are great people, but there are times they have let me down.
As a child, I thought my parents were infallible. I took everything they had to give, learned everything that they had to teach me. I tried to be a perfect eldest child, the smartest girl in class, the best behaved child in the neighborhood. As I got older, I still thought my parents knew everything. They were dated and dorky, but they were mine and they were great. I may have rolled my eyes a time or two, but I never thought they were anything less than wonderful.
I got married, I tried to become a parent myself, and over a span of a few years, I felt the sting of disappointment. I realized they were flawed. I noticed things that were less than desirable.
They aren’t superheroes. They aren’t perfect. I have been let down, but I know that was inevitable. It has made me look at them in a different light. That light may be less flattering, but it makes it so much easier to see who they are. I love who they are, just as much as I loved who I thought they were.
There’s not a parade, no holiday pay and the banks are open. It’s just a Thursday, it’s not special to everybody. But, it’s special to me. It’s the only day of the year I can claim is all about me, even if it also belongs to thousands of other people.
I could remember it as the day it snowed hard and I didn’t have to go to school, or the day a schoolmate planned a party and so no one came to mine. I could remember it as the day I got my first pair of panties (as opposed to undies) or the day I got flowers for the first time. Many years later, it became the first time I got flowers from someone other than my father.
Today, I slept in a little, made myself some coffee and opened a present from my parents. Read my emails and tweets and smiled at how lucky I am.
My life hasn’t always been easy, but for every struggle, I’ve had a blessing. I could list the hardships, but I’d have to list the things I’m grateful for as well. They may not always go hand in hand, but life isn’t neatly packaged like that. My birthday wish for myself is to continue life this way. Recognizing that it’s not all bad and taking advantage of the good.
I wish to be able to see the good in myself as well, to not be so hard on me. To see myself the way those who love me see me. I wish for all the wonderful things life has to offer, not just for me, but for those around me. I wish to continue to experience joy, love, passion, friendship and to give them in reciprocation where I can. I wish for happiness and for the ability to acknowledge it.
I wish for a life full of laughter and smiles, bursting with desire and affection, wrapped in kindness and love.
If only friendships had as many lives as cats supposedly do. I met Kerry* at the supermarket. She was the pharmacist behind the counter, and after months and months of friendly chatter, we met with our husbands for coffee. We became close friends, I cared for her children, she supported me during all the infertility crap, we saw each other socially a couple times a week.
Unfortunately, shortly after I was diagnosed, she made herself scarce. I’m not sure if she just didn’t want to deal with it, or couldn’t. Maybe she couldn’t handle it. I tried a few times to get together, but it became harder and harder. I know my ex once called her house in a fit of anger and left a message about how she had deserted me when I needed a friend the most.
I don’t know how she is doing, but I wish her and her family only the best.
*not her real name