At my last job, most of my closest friends were a bit younger than me. They were anywhere from six to ten years younger than me. Three of them got married in the past eight months and I’ve attended two of those weddings. One of those weddings was last night. It was a beautiful wedding. The bride was so happy she looked like she was about to burst from pure joy. It was one of those weddings you are happy to attend because you just know that this is the happiest day of her life and she is so excited to be surrounded by her family and friends.
It was my first time being back in a Catholic church in a while. I think since we lost our baby, I’ve only been to church once or twice. My faith in Catholicism is slowly slipping away and I’m considering a change in religions. Being back at Mass yesterday, though, I found myself falling right back into the ritual. Despite my hesitance to participate in the Mass, my lips started forming the responses and I kneeled, stood and sat automatically. The Communion hymn was one of my favorites. It was You Are Mine for any Catholics in the audience. It makes me tear up without fail every time. “I am hope for all who are hopeless. I am eyes for all who long to see. In the shadows of the night, I will be your light. Come and rest in Me.” It made me miss my church. It made me miss my faith. It made me long for the days that I believed God would answer my prayers.
The bride included the presentation of flowers to Mary in her wedding. I did the same thing at mine. I remember praying so hard for a happy marriage and children (but not too soon on the children part, God, I want to enjoy being married for a bit, please). I should have been more specific by what I meant by “not too soon” because God is messing with the timing there. The cantor sang the Ave Maria and it was amazing and as the bride was walking back to her seat, her face was entirely her mother’s. She had this expression on her face that reminded me so much of her mother. It’s like when I catch a glance of myself in the mirror and see my mom looking back at me. It usually catches me off guard because it amazes me how much I can look like someone else. While watching my friend walk back to her seat, looking so very much like her mom, it hit me. I will never look at my daughter’s face and see mine. This is part of the reason why we chose open adoption. I want my daughter or my son to have the opportunity to look into someone else’s face and see their own. I just forgot that I won’t ever have that same opportunity. I realize that genetics don’t make a family and that once that baby is in my arms and in my home, it won’t matter. All the same, it’s just another thing I’m losing by not being able to have my own biological children.
Watching the wedding reminded me of my own wedding. I was so innocent then. I was years away from the diagnosis of infertility. I was years away from the loss of a baby I fought so hard to conceive. I was years away from the extremely difficult decisions I would have to make during that loss. I was happy and positive and looking forward to the future. I was optimistic about what was in store for me. I miss that person I was. I miss my genuine smile. I miss my light-heartedness. Most of all, I miss not feeling so angry all the time.
It’s just that I’ve lost so much that some days I can’t even imagine what it would feel like to gain something.