Friday, September 05, 2008

I didn't choose this

Sometimes, when I'm in the mood to delve, I sit and think - really think - about what my life might be like if there's never another child.

Will it be enough, I wonder. Will I find fulfillment in other things? In other ways? In other journeys?

Will I eventually one day feel complete, or will this nagging feeling that a piece is missing ever go away?

I stumbled across a "childless not by choice" chat board a few months ago, and lingered for a few minutes. Just long enough to browse through a "what will your legacy be" thread where members were exchanging ideas on how to ensure that you've changed the world without leaving it a child.

It was both inspiring, beautiful and desperately sad.

They certainly weren't looking for pity - mine or anyone's. They were people, it seemed, for whom the childless reality wasn't so fresh it was still oozing. They had passed over to a place of acceptance and were almost excited about planning for ways to leave their mark - and eager to share those plans.

But yet, it still seemed sad to me that people have to think so hard - work so hard - to fill that void. No matter how much they've accepted their fate and moved past the rawest part of the sorrow.

I know that having a child isn't the only way to "leave a legacy". Millions of people live and die without having children, and their stories live on. Their contributions to history, art, literature, science - to the world - they remain for generations.

You can touch a life without using a child to do it. You can touch thousands of lives. Millions.

But you have to look for it. Work for it.

Which, under the circumstances, doesn't seem fair at all.


Catherine said...

You're's NOT fair.

Tee said...

I remember too. i will always rememeber, mine, yours, all of ours...

Kellie said...

I think you *have* left a legacy. Look at all the wonderful things people do in Thomas' name to remember and honor him. Naturally I'd rather have him here, but he does continue to inspire goodness from others. How many of us can say that of ourselves after all these years on this planet. His time here was way to short, but he's had greater effect than some of us old bags will ever have.

Bronwyn said...

I second what Kellie said. We all leave legacies in the small kindnesses we do. It doesn't take having living children to leave a mark...