I think it's high time I just laid some things out. It's a spring cleaning of sorts of my inner bookshelf. Many will say "You have a story, and we need to hear it." I'm here to tell you that you have many stories. Some may seem trivial or just like a pity party. Others may be so deep you need a full wetsuit and oxygen tank to plumb. How else can we get to know each other if we don't tell these stories?
I'm going to start with one here today, and my hope is that over time I'll add more. I'd love to hear your stories, too. You can email me, leave it in the comments, or leave a link to your own blog. Whatever works best for you is fine with me.
Up front I'm going to tell you that these will be all over the place. I'm a bit of a grab bag. I have a feeling you are, too. Let's jump straight into the deep end here and get wet all over. It's the easiest way to adjust to the water.
I've had four unsuccessful In Vitro Fertilization treatments. My fingers paused above the keys as I started to write "failed". I don't know what made me go with a different word. It just seemed to ache less. Now I'm left pondering why that is and why we choose certain words over others, but that's for another day.
Back to the IVFs. The first was wrapped up in so much tragedy that it is hard to separate the experience from the environment that surrounded me. At the time, we lived in eastern North Carolina and I drove through a flood-ravaged state to Eastern Carolina University. This was just after Hurricane Floyd devastated the counties surrounding our home. I drove by empty shells of homes with mounds of detritus at the ends of driveways, sofas caught in fences above my head, and big wheels in the middle of soy fields.
I related emotionally to everything I saw around me. Reality had swept in, cleaned me out and everything looked covered in mud. Kitchen lights are cold in the morning when you are sitting with syringes, ice to numb the skin, and bandages to cover the bleeding. You try to not let hope fill you at the same rate as the needles fill the sharps container.
Every bit of life is scripted, all the rules are followed and there is nothing to show for it. After all the degradation and humiliation of being a subject at a teaching hospital, you try to find dignity. You also skip church on Mother's Day and Father's Day.
When you feel strong enough and the bank account has built back up, you try again, and maybe again, and maybe one more time.
When the specialist says that you have to give them one more shot, you think about all the ones you've given yourself and most assuredly say that you do not.
It's the grasping for what should be so innate that multiplies the tension and frustration. You don't want to talk about it for fear of making others uncomfortable. A keen sense of empathy has developed with what makes others uncomfortable. I pray that hasn't been the case here.
I don't want to leave you with a sense of pity for me, I just want to let you know that this is part of my history. I don't skip church anymore - although I cringe at how many churches treat those two holidays. I have come to a "Joseph" place where I see the plan that intended it all for good. It was a long road, but one that led to eventually to Las Vegas.
Perhaps we'll meet there next time.
Your turn. I want to hear one of your stories. No need to go where you aren't prepared, but anything that helps me know you. Maybe you can just tell me about why you loved or hated high school. I'm all ears.