I often think about how "funny" it is to make a decision about life. In all honesty, I tend to believe that we don't really have a lot of choice in how things might or...might not...go. It's not that I think we have NO choice, but rather...that we have limited choice.
For example...I would have chosen that my firstborn son would go through his tumultuous teen years unscathed and able to look back and scoff at all the worry he caused us. I would have chosen that ultimately, he would emerge whole...safe...sound.
It wasn't to be. Yes...he IS alive. He's still beautiful and funny. At times. In many ways, one would look at him and see a normal young man--but it's within that the damage has been done. Deep within the brain. Where memory fails. Where names, dates, times...and logic...are largely absent. The damage of three years ago rears it's relentless face and laughs "He will never be the same...ever."
Of course, we always hope for improvement, and the brain DOES heal----slowly. But, I know too much about brains. I know too much about the particular damage of HIS brain. I know the limitations. I know the reality.
I would have protected him. I wasn't given the choice. And, neither was my son. Now when people ask him what he wants to "be"...I cringe a little when I hear him say he wants to study micro-biology. Not because I don't think it's a great thing to study, but because I know he has some serious deficits that don't meld well with the flied of micro-biology. I want him to succeed...and I'm not sure he can in that area. Maybe life will surprise us all. Maybe.
My pregnancy with Simon and Alexander...wow...it was a surprise. I accepted that the choice of that pregnancy wasn't mine alone. I embraced the gift. But it was stolen before I could unwrap it's beautiful contents. No choice in the matter...it wasn't about what I wanted; not in the beginning...nor in the end.
Today, I stand here in front of a little strip of paper. It only has one red line on it. I knew it was too early to test of course. WAY too early. But I know that on the first night of Ramadan, a beautiful spiritual holiday for many around the world, I had a dream of a beautiful baby in my arms...I could hear audible laughter in my ears, and woke up with it's tinkling sound resonating around me. My husband came to me after a similar, simultaneous dream and an agreement was found in our love. We were ready to make a choice. We chose Yes.
Ever since that night, there have been an unusual amount of obstacles preventing further encounters...very strange for a couple that rarely misses a chance to love each other. But, we would just shrug, laugh, and know that it simply seemed....beyond our control.
But, I was ovulating two days after that night. It could have happened.
So, I stand here...with that little paper in front of me. Only one line.
Why did I test too early? I knew it wouldn't show me two lines, even IF that beautiful magic of baby creation did in fact take after only one sweet, beautiful, deeply spiritual encounter. I'm not Muslim...I don't celebrate Ramadan, but, I AM aware of it and I honor it's profound place in the spiritual community of life. If I had the choice, I would say that I'd like for it to be true that our next child had been conceived under such a beautiful phase of the universe. I would like to believe that the laughter I heard so clearly was the tinkling of bells I will hear again soon.
I had another dream 2 days ago...I was on a beach walking. I found a perfect rippled shell and I opened it to find a beautiful silver necklace. It had a single name on it. I woke up smiling..."Oh....I DO like that name...."
And so...I will test again...later. Late enough to understand that if I see another single line that I didn't really get to choose, but that I can always try again...and again....and again.... Late enough to know that if I see two lines...I still don't get to choose the outcome of life. My eldest son has shown me that even when you think all will be well...it can all change in one life altering moment. Simon and Alexander have shown me that pregnancy doesn't always end with a beautiful baby to cuddle. My other children have shown me that being open to life is...truly a gift.
But, it will be o.k....one line or two lines. It will be o.k., because one thing that the universe cannot control is my attitude. And right now, the attitude my husband and I are sharing is one of being open to "Yes." It's about opening the door. Maybe no one will come through it. But, at least it is open....and he...or she...is welcome.