Tuesday, September 15, 2009

chop chop

Disclaimer: I am typing this blog without the use of my index finger....please forgive any excessive typos.

I cut a portion of my finger off last night with a big, newly sharpened knife, while I was chopping arugula, watching the news and crying about Patrick Swayze's passing. I cried about his death not just because he was too young or that he was so handsome or that yet another one of my generation's icons is gone, but because I learned that his wife of 30 plus years never had children. They didn't have children and they built a beautiful life together in spite of, or maybe because of, that fact. I don't know the details, but it struck me as a rarity in this day and age to be married so long, HAPPY and not have kids. I found peace in learning that. It's something Ive been struggling with. The fact that I've been with Jason (he's the pensive, cute guy in the photo sitting in the chair in a really rundown 1970's ER room, waiting patiently for the doctor to release me) for 15 years and somehow we don't have kids. We were very happy without them, not ready to have them and then one day when I hit 40 I realized that not only did I want kids with Jason, but I was now READY to be a parent. Almost two years later and still no kid, I am beginning to wonder, can you be with your spouse your whole life, childless and happy?

I pulled up a note I wrote to myself many months ago, a feeling that has happened more times than I can count since I realized that I want to be a mother, and I thought I would share it because it's easier than typing with no index finger and well, I just feel like it. It's from a very vulnerable place...a place that I find myself in a lot these days. Deep breath.

I am stunned. As I sit in the kitchen and weep from a deep place, so deep that a spelunker would have a hard time finding the bottom. Fears. Doubts. Regrets. All of it, pouring out of my nostrils and tear ducts. Words flowing from my mouth, “I Know we will have a good life together, we’ve had one already. 15 years together, traveling, careers, weekends, Newman, our friends, insane dinner parties, a beautiful house; our life is good and it will continue to be great. But I want to be a mother. And I want you to be a father. I want to parent a child together. I want to be that person. What have I done? Why have we waited? What were we thinking?” I thought I would never stop crying. The only thing that would get me to stop is the halting fear that I may never be a mother, then I would literally lose my breath. And without breath, crying is impossible. That’s it. I’ll just die right here. What’s the point of going on? I feel like such a fool. An impostor of epic proportions. What was I doing all this time? I was living in FEAR is my first thought. And then Jason reminds me that we were living our life not our fear. And I stop crying, if only for a moment.

I thank God for Patrick Swayze; for his black tank top, his sparkly eyes and smile and for living a beautiful life with the love of his life, on his own terms and for showing me that is enough. And I thank God for Jason, who wrapped my bleeding finger, sat with me in the ER and always says the right thing just when I need to hear it the most.

Note to Self: Live your life not your fear and always keep your eye on the knife.

1 comment:

  1. I, like you, have thought a lot about marriage and happiness and what it means, and what children do to the dynamic of wedlock. I don't think that the world is lacking in people, I do think it is lacking in quality people at times...and as such I wonder if I should be the one to populate this planet with yet another soul. This argument bends both ways: I fear I cannot do the best job as a parent, and I fear that I would be great at it and will not get to try. Either way, marriage is for us as it should be - a joint effort at whatever comes along. We don't miss out on much because we don't have children. As I write, I recall our friends that have children seem to wish they were us more often than they ought. That sounds horrible. I wish it were not true for their kids' sake.

    Now, more to the point, Patrick Swayze and his wife Lisa Niemi

    (link: http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/32874430/ns/today-today_books/ )

    would probably have borne pretty kids, but we on the outside will never know what the insides of these two people would have done to the insides of children, so we have to assume they did what was best for their own insides. Does that simplified view of what I mean make any sense? Even if it doesn't, I liked this from the link I included above:

    "In the end, the couple, who never had children, would become closer than ever. Last year, when Swayze and Niemi renewed their wedding vows. Swayze wrote his own comments.

    “Together, we've created journeys that were beyond anything we could imagine,” Swayze told the love of his life. “We have ridden into the sunset on a white stallion, countless times. We've tasted the dust in the birthplaces of religions. Yet you still take my breath away. I'm still not complete until I look in your eyes. You are my woman, my lover, my mate and my lady. I've loved you forever, I love you now and I will love you forevermore."

    I hope to nurture that depth in my own marriage. We are 2 years into this joint venture and I think it's going to be just fine.