So THIS Is How Long “It” Took….

Revelations and Reflections On a Healing Trajectory

Photo credit: Geoff Colley/Shutterbug

Once upon a time, I gleefully passed out Halloween candy as a wide eyed new homeowner. 

This occurred for a couple of years before the friction between my envisioned future and actual reality started to grind.  And it culminated amid my ttc efforts with hurriedly drawing the blinds down in the wake of an unexpected onslaught of trick or treaters in 2012, hardly 36 hours after hurricane Sandy left town.  Seriously.

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Parenthood and Grandparenthood in the Pandemic

Reflections on what’s missing from a year of headlines

It was early on in the pandemic that talk of grandparents not being able to see their grandchildren started to become part of the daily swirl.

I was genuinely moved by the grandparent heartache at first.  I could, all too well, relate to the plight of having something close to your heart to which you expect free access ripped from your existence.  Even if only temporarily.  I actually shed some tears on behalf of this not asked for angst. 

At the time, I was six years out of multiple fertility treatments rendering no baby.  Like most people who spend merciless stretches in the trenches of trying to conceive, or in other circumstances hoping for parenthood, I had formed surprisingly deep and influential bonds with my unborn.  

By the time the pandemic hit I had come to a point in my grieving and healing process where I was able to hold some space for life’s more meager infractions.  “Fertile world problems” I’ve come to refer to them as.  

Fast forward one year, and past endless headlines blaring the pandemic discord and disturbance heaped upon the parented and grandparented world.  Much of it entirely justified and important to air.  It’s what has been missing from our conversation that stirs concern.

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All That Comes Back

At the onset of my nervous system disorder four plus years ago, I became intimately connected with the spring phase of my gardens.  It somehow served me to meander around and stick my face inches from the earth, securing ring side seats to nature’s first pokes back from dormancy.  For the fifteen or twenty minutes that I could anyway.  Dizziness, lightheadedness and light overwhelm would drag me back inside all too soon – where I would then be overwhelmed by the darker setting to which my body could barely readjust.  

What I remember though was the awe at this phase of unfolding.  Never again was I going to miss it, to dismiss it as subtle or to only turn my attention to plants once they became more “obvious”.  I recall last early spring stumbling upon something I had forgotten I planted stridently spearing itself through the earth.  “You came back!!” I literally gasped in wonder.  It hadn’t owed me that, or anything else.  But yet there it was.  

early rumblings of white sage

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Integration

On questioning ritual and getting different

Around four years ago, in the fourth year coming out of treatments, I found myself in a vehement phase of mourning.  The pull towards expressing my love and losses through gardening continued to grow more fervent.  It was then I created our candle and flower ritual to mark the conclusion of our final failed attempt – and to chauffeur me through winter in the absence of gardening.  I was pulsing on a regular basis with the need for physical symbols that could mark, prove and memorialize.   Read more

BOUNDARIES

Drawing lines in the conversation amid social invisibility

A couple of months ago I took myself to the dentist.  Fitting in a tooth cleaning while the Covid infection rates remained low, I found myself in what felt like a surprisingly normal conversation.

In an innocent exchange of “work and business during Covid” stories, I shared a slice of how things were going in restaurant world.  And the hygienist shared how thankful she was to get back to work in July.  Staying at home with her toddler had not been good for her mental health. Read more

Social Isolation on Mother’s Day Not a Novel Concept For Many

And other pandemic deja vus

Well folks, here we are.  In a worldwide crisis with no known ending.  A crisis that entails a major loss of control, an utter disruption of our normals and a smashed view of the future.  We are dealing with a disease that was initially not taken too seriously, a condition whose effect on individuals is intensely swerving and has the capacity to leave major wreckage in its wake.  And all in a situation where social isolation remains one of the few ways to lessen bad outcomes, where much time and energy is expended re-learning daily life basics. 

We’re fumbling our way through a global pandemic.  And for me and many like me, it all feels so familiar.   Read more

From the Fire

“Sarah, This Is Sarah”

Strange things have been happening lately.  When I’m out in the world now, something is different.  

I find myself catching glimpses of someone I don’t fully recognize.  She is emerging full force but I have yet to really see her.  Life’s obstacles and hardships can serve as quite the blinders sometimes. Read more

Renunciate

We Are Worthy

Dear Readers, 

I miss you!  Life has been demanding a lot from me lately, leaving little time for reflection and expression.  There are positive resolutions to some of my challenges and obstacles on the horizon though, so I’ll take it.  I know I’m late to the party, but I just had to jump in on today’s World Childless Week theme in spite of my personal constraints.  And even though it’s already yesterday in the UK.  Hope you have or will get to check out WCW’s many offerings.  More from me soon, I hope.

XO Sarah

*****

For those of us acclimating to living without the children we expected, certain unyielding realities become abundantly clear amid the implosion of our formerly held world views.  

As we relearn the world through our involuntarily childless lens, we are brought face to face with the universally stringent conversational patterns that thoroughly omit our experiences and viewpoints. 

*****

It was a golden, crisper than usual mid September day as I made my way to my periodic neurology appointment.  I chuckled as I found the office, a drastically cozier and quieter place than the bustling hub where I had always seen my doctor prior.  This other location provided a much more cooperative environment for someone in the first part of an autonomic nervous system disorder, as I was now discovering two years and nine months in and approaching its merciful resolution.

I relayed as much to the friendly receptionist as succinctly as I could.  “It’s funny what we don’t realize as we’re coping, isn’t it?” Read more