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.