My friend and contributor Teri Tith received an email from Aimee from Australia. She had found the Purple Woman Blog (which Teri founded and I contributed to) and wanted Teri to know how she had been inspired by the posts.
Like many women and men who anticipate children in their lives but end up childless she was in the process of re-framing her perception of a childless life. She shared with us her “letter to herself” which was so touching and inspiring we knew we needed to share this letter with you. Here is an excerpt:
Today is the beginning of a new outlook on life. This weekend we made the decision to not continue on the IVF path. Not next year. Not ever. For me it is also a conscious decision not to continue on the ‘infertility’ path. That may sound strange, because technically we will remain, by definition, ‘infertile’. But today, and every day from now on, this is not how we define ourselves.
Spending our emotional energy, our time and our money trying to bring ‘something’ into our life implies that there is something missing. And that is what has kept us on the IVF rollercoaster and turned both of us – I guess me especially – into anxious and (if I’m being honest with myself) at times unhappy people. What I have come to realise this week is that there is nothing missing. We have a loving, fun, deeply committed relationship and we have a choice to make. So many of our choices have been made for us that I almost forgot the one we can still make – we can choose not to define ourselves by what we don’t have. We can choose to get off the emotional rollercoaster that is IVF. We can choose to embrace a different life. Not a lesser life, but a different one…maybe even a fuller one.
Yesterday I read that ‘There is only so much time in a day, a week, a lifetime, and if we don't raise children, perhaps we "raise" something else.’ Something about this blog excerpt resonated with me because, deep down, I know that I have something significant to contribute to this world. And I know that we both can make a mark, as individuals or as a couple. And that mark isn’t going to be children. But it will be something just as meaningful.
In the past, I was so sad that our beautiful love would never be reflected in a child. What I am focused on now is nurturing and protecting that love and having fun with it. There are other things that our love will be weaved into. We might volunteer overseas together… we might give something back in a way that others can’t. Importantly, we can move forward without resentment of other people’s fortune, because we are going to be fortunate in other ways. We are going to feel fulfilled and satisfied and free. We are going to make a difference. We are going to focus our energies on our marriage, on our own identities and passions, and on our friends – some that we have, some that we will meet. Most importantly, we will feel whole and happy because we have a deep love that we can spend every day investing our time and energy into and nothing will compromise that.
Flickr Photo by Donovan Beeson