My favourite little family sat in front of me at Mass today. They have three little girls ranging in age from about 5 to roughly 6 months. I love watching the girls, particularly the baby. She's a fat, happy little thing and she's always got a smile for me. Today she was wearing a little kitten sleeper in bright, cheerful orange, yellow and pink. I can just imagine how snuggly she felt in those soft little jammies and I just ached to cuddle her.
But of course, I didn't. I smiled at her - at them - like any polite stranger would, and at the end of Mass I quietly and quickly slipped out of my pew and left.
Sometimes I still just have to shake my head. I have three children too, but all mine are dead. Why is that? Why? Why is it so easy for some people to have a beautiful little family and for others it's a task somewhat akin to climbing Mount Everest?
I look at that mother's little girls and think what miracles they are and wonder if those parents know exactly how lucky they are to have brought not one, but three healthy children into this world. I'm sure they know they're lucky, but I'll hazard a guess that they don't know the way I do.
It isn't that I begrudge them their good fortune - their sticky little girl kisses and sloppy, milky baby ones - it's just that I can't for the life of me figure out why them and not me. It just seems so easy on paper. You have sex, you get pregnant and nine months later you take home a baby. It seems so simple...
But right now it's the most impossible feat imaginable.
I hate the feeling that my life is somehow on hold. I don't want that - I don't want to spend the rest of my life with the nagging feeling that something is missing - something more than my Thomas. I can't stand the relentless feeling of longing (for him and for another baby to love). But I can't quite figure out how to shake this limbo.
I move in and out of the days like I'm asleep. Hibernating. Waiting for the spring - for that moment when I see clearly where my life is headed and what my immediate purpose is. Right now I just don't have that clarity and I don't know where to look for it.
If my purpose is not to be a mother to earthly children, then what it is? Why am I here? Why did I go through what I did - what lessons am I supposed to have learned and what the hell am I supposed to do with them?
It's like someone has thrown open the door to the universe and pushed me to the threshold.
Where do I go from here?