In my last post, I talked about not letting Easter get to you with its emphasis on children. Well, Easter got to me, but not in the way I expected. There were children around, and they were as adorable as expected. Children with their choir-singing parents, children getting baptized, tots trying to sing in the back of the church, pictures all over Facebook of families with kids. That was fine. But there came a moment last night in the third of the four long services that I sang and played for when we were once again remembering our loved ones who had died. I fixed on my mother and felt a connection. I felt as I often do that I am a direct continuation of her too-short life. Not only do I look like her and carry on many of her beliefs and ways, but I’m taking her life force beyond what she was able to do, in my work as a writer and musician, in my life with my dog here in the woods, and in the adventures I go on.
That’s when the sledgehammer hit me. I have broken the chain. I am not carrying that piece of my mother and her mother and her mother into the next generation. It dies with me. And that sucks. I want to wail. I want a do-over. Give me another chance; I’ll have children. I’ll do whatever it takes. But it’s too late. I can tell myself all kinds of positive things about how God has given me other work to do in this life. I can love everybody else’s kids. But it’s not the same, and that pain will always be there waiting to catch me at a vulnerable moment.
I can still enjoy days like today, Easter, when after church I went out for a very adult brunch with friends (who have lots of kids and grandkids but none of them here). Afterward, I came home, telephoned my family in California, changed into my sweats and set to work cleaning up my back yard. Nobody to worry about. Totally free. Tonight I’ll watch a movie, share a bowl of popcorn with the dog, and maybe soak in the spa under the stars. My life is good. In the middle of Mass today, I felt so blessed I could barely stand it. I was surrounded by friends, playing the music that I love, and yes, Jesus has risen from the dead. The sun was shining in, we were all dressed up in our Easter finery, and I wanted to hug everyone.
Most of the time I can accept that I will never have children, but there will always be those moments when it just plain hurts. Know what I mean?
May we all have more happy moments than sad. Thank you for being here. Keep coming back.