Friday, December 17, 2010

It's still there...

A few sundays ago my church had a prayer request from a couple that had been trying to conceive for five years.  The way we do prayer requests in our church is to write them on slips of paper which are then given to the pastor during our joys and concerns time, so they can be given anonymously if desired.

Immediately both Marcus and I felt a kinship and compassion for this unknown couple. I so badly wanted to know who in my congregation was hurting so I could offer some kind of personal support. The sting and pain of infertility (especially around the holidays) is still so incredibly vivid. The celebration and joy of the birth of a christ child, the pews full of families, and our arms empty for several years.

I feel fortunate that in my job I have found many opportunities to use my experiences with IF and other reproductive justice issues.

I recently came across this quote from Laura Bush's newest book. She so perfectly describes the mourning of a "not yet" child. Something which many can't fully understand or appreciate until it's their own reality.

For some years now, the wedding invitations that had once crowded the mailbox had been replaced by shower invites and pink-or-blue-beribboned baby announcements. I bought onesies or rattles, wrapped them in yellow paper, and delivered them to friends. I had done it with a happy wistfulness, believing that someday my time, my baby, would come. George and I had hoped that I would be pregnant by the end of his congressional run. Then we hoped it would be by the time his own father announced his presidential run, then by the presidential primaries, the convention, the general election. But each milestone came and went. The calendar advanced, and there was no baby.

The English language lacks the words to mourn an absence. For the loss of a parent, grandparent, spouse, child or friend, we have all manner of words and phrases, some helpful some not. Still we are conditioned to say something, even if it is only “I’m sorry for your loss.” But for an absence, for someone who was never there at all, we are wordless to capture that particular emptiness. For those who deeply want children and are denied them, those missing babies hover like silent ephemeral shadows over their lives. Who can describe the feel of a tiny hand that is never held?

It's just perfectly said and I'm happy that she too got her babies. I so hope and pray for all those, like the couple in my congregation, that are still mourning the loss of those tiny hands never held. I hope they get their baby(ies) soon. 


Anonymous said...

Sitting here with my sleeping babe in my arms and feeling so thankful. Know just what you mean.

Hope your family has happy holidays.

~Jess said...

I never knew that about the I'm curious!

She said it best though...the never having held that tiny hand that no one else missed.