I’ve always enjoyed puzzles. The mindlessly simple ones, to the ones that make you think, to the ones that blow your mind – I like them all. I thoroughly enjoy the concept of taking lots of little images and seeing how they all come together to create the big picture. Some obviously take longer than others, but the fix I get from the “voila” moment when clarity strikes always makes it worth it. There is only one problem with my puzzling habit – I am a chronic user of the box. I want to know what I’m looking for, I want to see the big picture before it’s created, and I want to know – more than anything else – that I’m headed in the right direction. Simple, right? Sure – if only it were actual puzzles I was referencing.
Rule number one – nothing is ever as easy as you hope it will be… especially when there are no instructions. There are not many things about my life that I would go back and change – I mean that. I have learned a lot from where I’ve been and I’m not sure that going back to re-hash or re-do anything would be worth the risk of losing what I know now that I didn’t know then. I firmly believe there is a reason your windshield is bigger than your rearview mirror - however comma there are days where I really wish I could look further ahead… and this is one of them.
I have a lot of ambitions. I always have, I suspect I always will. They are ever-changing as I progress in life and again, they always have and I suspect they always will. I have wanted to be a forensic investigator, a veterinarian, a psychologist, a massage therapist, a writer, an artist, a head chef at a 5 star restaurant, a photographer, an interior designer, a band director, a public relations guru – but the one thing I’ve unwaveringly wanted to be for longer than I can remember is a Mom.
It is no secret to anyone who knows me that I have fought tooth and nail for this right for more years than I’d like to think about. I have been a case study, a cutting board, a mystery, a lecture topic… you name it. I have been treated extensively for endometriosis, and five years and four surgeries later, have found myself, yet again, back at square one. There is nothing more depressing than the moment the pain returns… the pain that is indicative of the imminent downward spiral you’re headed for. There is nothing to be done about it – its cyclic and it doesn’t go away… unless you have a baby, or a hysterectomy… and those, my friends, are the two choices I am rapidly approaching as my only options.
As you can imagine, that went over about like a led balloon. I mean, could continue to have relatively minor surgeries that impose substantial damage to my body for minimal relief, but approaching the fifth surgery, one has to be a realist - at what point is enough, enough? There are a lot of risks associated with not taking conclusive steps in making this go away, but for the same reasons I am nowhere near ready to be married, I am not ready for a baby. Granted, odds are I won’t be able to have one anyways, but I am 100% less than ready to give up on that permanently… It is physically painful to watch parents of kids who so obviously don’t want to be bothered by raising them knowing that I may never have what they never wanted.
But what if there is a flipside to all of this? If I take a giant step back and take an objective look at my life there is one subliminal message that is blatantly obvious. The last thing family is defined by is DNA. The times when I have had less than desirable relationships with my biological family cultivated a deep appreciation for people who so effortlessly became the family I was in desperate need of. I celebrate more people each Mother’s day than the average person celebrates in a lifetime – the most beautiful part of that statement is that half of them are mothers, the others are not. They are each incredible women who have shone a motherly light in my life whether they held the title or not… I am eternally grateful for their light because it is in these moments that their illumination permeates the darkness of probable reality with hope.
What if all of these people who have stood in front of me, beside me, and behind me through thick and thin were lighthouses amongst a sea of people who will need someone to do the same for them? Come to think of it, so many of the people I love and care deeply about have fought their own battles in this arena and/or have adopted children who would have been in the world of parents who simply couldn’t be bothered to care. There is no black and white here. I am trying to solve the puzzle without giving the bigger picture a chance. Don’t get me wrong - if push comes to shove and biology fails me, there will we a deep sadness in the crater where the bottom of my world used to be… it is inevitable - but this isn't the end of the road. It is the letting go of a lifelong dream, but it’s not letting go of THE dream. I have witnessed love withstand the war that family cannot… and I have seen family cultivated where love was not.
It’s painfully obvious that there is no box to look at, no instructions, no dimensions – nothing. I don’t know how this will end up and I don't know what I'll do because I don't know what to do. I wish I could see ahead here, but I cant. I don’t have to make any decisions today - but I can’t not think about it. Instead I’m going to choose to think about it in a way that allows love to come from wherever it may. Mother’s day may never be a holiday I see the other side of, but I’m going to hope, fiercely, that I may be a light for others that so many have been for me. I am not looking forward to what appears to be inevitable, but I am going to try my best to take a backseat to the bigger picture – because the only way to piece the puzzling pieces is to be at peace with every piece. I'm not yet, but I am trying. I always feel like the beginnings of this downward spiral are like taking a step into a dark tunnel… but I think its time for me to start taking the advice I’ve been giving to everyone else.
“Never lose sight of the light that it always at the end of the tunnel. Follow the light to wherever it may lead you – let the rest of the pieces fall into place where they may.”