I stared at the numbers in the elevator, punched the second floor button, and blinked.
I was not a mother. Again.
My reflection came into view, as the doors slid towards each other. Two broken halves of the same person.
“Hold the elevator,” a male voice said.
My hand shot out, instinct more than anything, sending the elevator doors open.
“Hey,” Matt said as he shuffled in beside me. My co-worker. “Thanks.”
He positioned the bag slung over his shoulder on the railing, and leaned against the far wall, tipping his head up. A sigh seeped out of him. “Long night.”
Why does politeness in social situations trump everything else? “Why?” I asked, twisting the handle on my purse.
“I just found out my sister is pregnant.”
I blinked, as the sting shot to my eyes. “Congratulations,” I said, dropping my gaze.
“No,” he said, “She’s sixteen, so….” He let the sentence hang between us, filling up the elevator.
“Oh.” My lips pinched into a tight line, barricading my emotions. I felt lightheaded, the injustice of it settling on me in a way that made my shoulders clench.
Five years. Five years of waiting, hoping, testing, procedures, and then a sixteen year old who doesn’t even want a baby gets pregnant. I wanted an explanation. I wanted a promise. I could keep counting days and plastering on a smile, and I could even shove that strangling ache into a dark corner somewhere in my heart, if I could just have the promise of someday.
I had amazing step-daughters. I had an awesome marriage, to a man I adored. I could be ok. But I would never be complete.
Sometimes people tried to say things to make me feel better. “Your day will come.” “I envy you. You have all this time to yourself.” “Everything happens for a reason.” They only made me feel worse.
Once my grandmother told me I couldn’t get pregnant because of the choices I’d made. I don’t even know how to talk about how that one affected me.
That night I called my girlfriend to talk. I couldn’t talk about it often. What was the point? Focusing on it only put it under a magnifying glass, shattering me. I’m so glad I called though, because this conversation was pivotal.
My girlfriend had been through a similar situation, and I knew she would know, even if I couldn’t get the words out, she would know. Sometimes there are people in life that are so in tune with you that you don’t even have to say anything. She’s like that. After ten years of wanting a child, she has an incredible son and is a wonderful mother. She would get it.
That night she said the only thing that anyone ever said to me, before or since, that made me feel any better. I want to share it with you now, on mother’s day, because there were a lot of mother’s days that were tough for me.
She told me that someday, I would became a mother, however that happened, through procedures, through adoption, through any number of ways, I could be a mom. And once I had my son or daughter in my arms, all the time, all those years, all those heartbreaking moments, wouldn’t be able to touch me anymore. I would remember them, that they happened, and be able to talk about them, but it would be like remembering a dream. The sharpness of the hurt wouldn’t be there anymore. That I had a someday, and all my hurt would be replaced with a love like I’d never known, a healing love, that patches up all the scars butchering your heart right now.
And you know what? She was right. It took me seven years. Seven years is a long time. Now I have an amazing son, and I am honored beyond words to be his mother. My girlfriend who gave me that advice is my son’s Godmother, and I am so thankful to her for her words of wisdom all those years ago. She helped me more than she’ll ever know.
I looked at my son today, and thought of you- all the women who are where I was years ago. Wanting. Needing.
I want to tell you that you have a someday. In one way or another. A day when it won’t hurt anymore. So happy future mother’s day to you. Revel in your someday.