Maybe I shouldn’t have used my real name

Dear friends,

I have been reading old posts and your wonderful comments in the hope of bringing everything up to date and putting together a “Best-of” Childless by Marriage book. So many of you say nice things about my blog and about me. I am so grateful. You have no idea how much your support and your comments help me. We’re all in this situation together.

I wish I could be anonymous like you. Some members of my family have taken great offense at my posts. Maybe I should have chosen a pen name, ala Dear Sugar or Dear Abby. Too late now. To all of them, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. Please don’t hate me, but you who have spouses and children and grandchildren have no idea what it’s like for those of us who don’t. Lucky you.

Meanwhile, I want to pay homage to some of the people who have been commenting here for years. Anon S., SilverShiloh, Candy, loribeth, Tony, Marybeth, Crystal, Mali, Jenny, and so many others, including many Anonymouses whom I can tell apart by the way you write, a million thank yous. To those who have bravely used their real names, you rock. To those who have just started reading, welcome. Let’s take a minute to picture ourselves in a big room together and thank each other. C’mon, group hug. Pass the hot toddies around. Ooh, and the fudge.

Ah, yum.

Can you all come to my house next Christmas?

***

So, the old church choir director job is gone :-(, and I have moved to a new church, where I can sing, play guitar and tambourine if I want, and shout “Hallelujah” if I feel so moved. 🙂 There’s no pay, and I’m not in charge of the music, but I feel welcome there. Like my old church, this one is also Catholic, but it’s a less repressive version which most of my friends escaped to before I did.

Joining a new parish means filling out a registration form for my “family.” That paper is going to have a lot of blank spots. Spouse? Employer? Children? Yikes. However, on the other side is a list of tasks people can volunteer to do. I can check off a whole bunch of them—music, bulletin, stitchery, bazaar–maybe more than others because of all those blank spaces on the “family” side. Something to be grateful for.

Just like I’m grateful for you.

Hang in there. Christmas will be over in two weeks. In three weeks, we get a bright shiny new year. And a new decade. Isn’t that amazing? We are already 20 years into the 2000s. And we’re still here.

 

3 thoughts on “Maybe I shouldn’t have used my real name

  1. It’s brave to put it all out there. Being authentic gives you credibility. The things you post are real. I believe them. You could have lied, changed your name, not given all the details, and I’d still be following along. But this isn’t a side gig for you–this is your real life and I can relate to all the ways you do and do not fit in. Your passion, and now your mark on the world, is something I greatly appreciate and admire.

    I can’t be “real.” Because then my situation is real. I’m not ready to be “childless.” I know I am. When I read an obituary of a woman who never had children I feel a connection to her soul and I say a little prayer for this stranger that I feel I somehow know. But I don’t want to put any of this “out there.” Because maybe something will change for me. Maybe. Probably not. But I am forever grateful that I have had this little slice of home to visit whenever I need it. Hugs and thank you.

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  2. So well written, Anon S. I say things on here that I don’t say to anyone else (I’m not that brave though. I’m under a pseudonym). It’s so useful to be able to communicate with others in the same situation.

    Thank you for the name check, Sue. Much appreciated. Enjoy your new church.

    Like

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