I suspect most of my sisters-in-waiting will be going offline and unplugged this entire weekend, if they haven't already. Why? Because that's exactly what I used to do, in preparation for Mother's Day. Blogs, social media posts, commercials... it is JUST TOO MUCH for a childless mother to handle. I remember it like it was yesterday, while at the same time, it feels like an entirely different lifetime ago.
This Mother's Day I can celebrate the greatest blessing and joy in my life. I have "crossed over," a term us Catholic Infertile Blogger Dinosaurs coined years ago. It will be so incredibly different than my childless days, when the pain of every lost dream, every robbed opportunity, every unfair comparison, every guilt-ridden reminder of what was missing pierced my heart like a sword. And yet, it is still the very first thing I think of when each new Mother's Day approaches... my sisters who are still enduring that anguish.
While I may have crossed over, in many ways I also feel like I've found myself in a totally different place than I thought "crossed over" would be. Still infinitely better than the cross of the unknown with infertility, I find myself carrying a new cross of redefining myself in single motherhood, and all that goes along with it. While I feel like the same person I was 20 years ago, I know I am very much changed. Hopefully stronger. Hopefully wiser. Hopefully... more trusting.
It may seem like a strange thing to hope for, but I mean it. I hope to be more trusting, moving forward.
What I've been through, in infertility and in the hidden cross of my previous relationship, had the potential to make me lean on God more but put a wall between myself and other people. I don't want that to happen. I don't want to fear that at any moment, whether or not I'm expecting it, something will happen to causes me the pain and anguish of another infertile Mother's Day. Lost Dreams. Robbed Opportunities. Unfair Comparisons. Guilt-Ridden Reminders.
I want to put trust in God in others. I want to be open, and honest, and vulnerable, even if it means getting hurt, again. I want to trust God in myself, too. Hell, if I could get through the past 16 years of this life and know that I am better for it... I can trust that God in me can handle whatever else may be around the corner.
Ultimately, life is too short to live closed off to the possibility of pain. Infertility had to DRILL that lesson home in me, because in every single other area of my life at that time, I had done just that - closed myself to the possibility of pain. Especially emotional pain. Ohhhhh, infertility. How I hate to love you. What a shitty, shitty blessing you were :) I thought I was smart. Strong. Logical. Having been through an emotional anguish of loss at age 19, I knew exactly what I needed to do to avoid it, again. Close up. Cerebral living. Logic-based choices. And it only made the pain that followed that much worse...
This Mother's Day, I choose trust. Trust in God's plan, trust in His other sons and daughters, and trust in myself. Open to the possibility of pain... while knowing that open will be the only way to experience true joy on earth.