Wednesday, December 9, 2009

For J

I have not written anything in almost a month now, but I am forcing myself to do so, hoping to cure my writer's block. Why is it that when we are struggling with grief, it is so difficult to do the things that best relieve it? I suppose that we must choose to act instead of relying on our emotions to inspire us to act. Although I feel no inspiration, I read something today that jolted me out of my little world of sadness. As we are all so very different in our triumphs, struggles and those secret things we desire, I reveal my own weaknesses in hopes that you won't judge me too harshly. Four weeks ago, I discovered that I am with child. Upon this discovery, I could not hold back the tears of grief. One might wonder "What on earth do you have to grieve about?". I admit that many people grieve about terrible losses much weightier than my own, but this logical realization did not make it any easier for me. I felt so violated. Having been sexually assaulted by a stranger when I was in my 20's, I do know how it feels to be violated. This feeling that my body had been taken over without my permission (yes, there were precautions), and would now dictate my future from this moment on, felt so unfair. My mind was made up that our little family of three was perfect and all I could handle. I enjoy the special times with my daughter and had envisioned my life with just her. Now I am forced to make room for another human being in all of our lives. My future vanished before me, replaced by another and the emotions accompanying this change were far beyond the typical responses I received from others. "Oh, that's so exciting!", "Never expected, but always wanted!"- all the good intentions and light heartedness behind the comments seems to highlight my flawed mothering instinct ever so painfully. I have a child whom I adore and have poured every bit of myself into her wonderful little soul. Why can I not do that now? Where is that love I felt for her as she grew in my belly five years ago? I didn't mind the sacrifices and physical maladies. Why do I hate them so much now? Perhaps it is because I know now the challenges that I face. My own selfishness draws me inward into my own seclusion, but motherhood demands one's complete emotional presence. We mothers must reach to the depths of our inner strength as we try to rear our children with love and respect and compassion. I know the toll this takes on my mind, body and soul. As I was greeting the world in my own way this morning (checking every one's comments on facebook) one post put my predicament into perspective. My cousin, a personal hero of mine, was ordered to go to Afghanistan. He, like many other brave soldiers, fought in Iraq and lived through the horrors of war. There is hope that he may not have to go, but if he does, his life then takes a path that he did not want. The future he had planned for himself shifts to the daily fight for survival that he has tried to forget. As I grapple with my selfishness in the future, I will remember the price of war - the cost that heroes and their families pay to keep the rest of us safe and free. As I consider the new life that has been entrusted to me, I am humbled by the lives that have been lost, and the heinous memories that haunt our heroes. Thank you to all the men and women who protect us, and for your forgiveness when we forget the price you pay.

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