Last week, I had an e-conversation with one of my favorite nuns. Nope. I’m not Catholic, and nobody said you have to be to admire the sisters and their commitment to people in need, right? This time, she ended our chat with this comment:
“Blessings for you in your work and ministry.”
I had only a few days to ponder the thought before Fiona H. shared this comment at TheNotMom’s page on Patch.com. It’s October, but she responded to the post I had uploaded on Mother’s Day. Fiona H. wrote:
“I have tried to have children for almost a decade. I will be 31 in three weeks and now my boyfriend just called me, saying he would like to discontinue trying until (maybe a year from now). I could not convince him otherwise. I have four sisters, all in their late 20s/early 30s who do not have children and no brothers. There is nobody to carry the family name…Not only do I not know what it is like to be a mother, but not even an aunt. I cry every day. I am so unbearably sad.”
Except for the fact that I’m an only child, I once could have written a message very much like Fiona’s. I said as much in my reply to her, including that I am also the last of the line for my family…at least on my mother’s side. The realization that your family will end with you can be jarring. At least, it was for me.
My efforts to get pregnant included minimally invasive surgery and fertility pills. When a divorce ended all that, ambivalence moved in. Perhaps I shouldn’t have let that happen, but age and diabetes made the final decisions for me. I’ve heard arguments that ambivalence actually is a choice. I’m still sorting out the veracity of that. It doesn’t feel true, though.
My wish for Fiona is the same for every actively grieving NotMom who did not choose her situation. To find peace, and self-love. For me, healing began at a unique retreat focused on “pregnancy loss” (as defined by each attendee). Before, during and after that time in my life, I looked to the Internet for solace, and women who would understand what I was experiencing.
I didn’t find what I was looking for online, and so, years later, I launched this website. It’s for other women, but it’s for me, too. I love that I can offer links to online resources for childless women that didn’t exist 10-15 years ago.
Fiona was searching for solace online, too, and the keyword that led her to my 5-month-old post was probably “childless”. I don’t know if she found what she was looking for here. I do know, because I KNOW, she felt an itsy bit better after pouring her pain onto a keyboard and sending it to someone who was waiting with a hug.
Ministry? TheNotMom.com? God, I hope so.