Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Just a note

Still away from the blog for a while, especially with getting news of a friend being pregnant (not planned), and of a baby's birth recently- so emotions are shaky.

Just wanted to let y'all know that I got my counseling license approved!


Funny how two parts of news, one unhappy and one happy.  Can't decide which to celebrate or cry.



Well, guess I'll make a toast to myself with one or two berry martinis

The recipe is inside this website with the photo-  Very yummy!


Sunday, August 19, 2012

No matter what, they're putting a stranger into your arms.



The title of this post, came from the quote that appeared in my mind, referring to Katherine Heigl's quote about her mom, who had biological and adoptive children.  You might know Katherine by some of her movies- "Knocked up" or "27 dresses."  

Among farmland, a state big on families and being fruitful, I found myself attending a soccer tournament for my cousin's kids today- with kids everywhere, if not playing in the games, then watching or chasing after each other.    A woman holding a 6-month old baby was chatting with my cousin's wife, passing the baby to the cousin's wife as she did 'baby babble' over the baby, and I kept staring at the baby.  I hadn't been very close to a baby for a long and long time.

Before I could react, the cousin's wife gave me the baby. Impulsively, I held the baby to my chest. I felt suddenly "at peace" if that made sense.  Staring at the baby, her closing eyes, relaxing in my arms, the world disappeared around us.   No kids shouting or kicking at the ball  No adults chattering or laughing.  No wind or smell of popcorn.   The only existence in the world was me holding the baby.



Someone poked me, which startled me to look up- to see the aunt saying that we needed to move closer to a spot, to watch the cousin's daughter play.  The mother came to me, with arms/hands open, ready to take the baby back.

I found myself hesitant to let the baby go.  I was not finished.  I wanted to hold her more.

With a big sigh, I gave her to the mother.  We relocated to a spot closer to the field. I could see the cousin's daughter very involved in her soccer.


I managed to regain the baby and I played with the baby, cuddling the baby-  looking into her grey-blue eyes the fine honey-brown colored hair on top of her head and the fair skin in shade of her summer hat.

By sooner, the game was over, to my dismay.


I reluctantly handed the baby back to her mother.  


I don't know what to say.    A part of me is crying.   A part of me feels more human.  A part of me is yearning for something.  A other part feels tranquil.   All through this, I feel all together.  


A complete stranger in my arms, yet I felt I knew her.  All babies I knew, in my heart, trusting and giving grace to one.



That quote came to my mind "A single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us. To live is to be slowly born."
         -Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Yellow Brick Road


I'm taking a time out to spend time with family for the coming week(s) in the state where Dorothy Gale lived with her dog Toto.   

I love my family, thro sometimes it is a toss-up on when I'd find myself in favor by family here and there.   There is an ailing grandmother; she is in a nursing home, and is not doing great. In the past, Grandma and I could write forth and back, we had interesting conversations that way!  No longer, could that continue due to Grandma's becoming blind. I asked for an interpreter so we'd have a long good talk, me and Grandma, when I'm in town.   Well, one church interpreter said she'll do it.  I'm not too keen on church interpreters- it's not because of the church itself.  Church interpreters usually know signs according to the church preaching-  you'd not find them use general signs (such as airport, restaurant, politics, London, tea, etc). If the word is not in the Bible, then the interpreter wouldn't know the sign.  See the dilemma here?     When I stated that I'd prefer a certified interpreter, I was told that I should be grateful for what I got.   

........................    

I want to talk with my grandma, before she passes away, and if I could not really TALK with her because the interpreter is "rusty reading signs (American Sign Language)", I should be grateful?  

It is just like being grateful that I'm alive, that the fibroid along with the uterus removal was not cancerous. 
I should be grateful that I have friends that could "share" their children with me, so I could "vicariously" live through pregnancy or raising children.
I ought be grateful that I don't have to "worry" about hair-pulling drama of children, I'd not go red-eyed through the night like the friends who are biting their teeth over their kids learning to drive; seeing a school-aged kid riding a bike for the first time; or the pre-teen testing their independence. 

You know what?     I don't care anymore.  I'm tired of people presuming that I "should" be happy with this, or that, or the thing-  all because folks who saying all this, are attempting to make themselves feeling better.  Never mind, it only makes me feel worse.  




So I'll go.  I'll see grandma, and see the failure of communication between me and Grandma, due to the "church interpreter" that I should be grateful for.  I will come home with a bitter taste on my tongue, and with my heart breaking, knowing that I may not have another opportunity to converse  with Grandma.  

I know I am angry right now.    I had been passive, swallowing my pride, being grateful for whenever they'd find neighbor's cousin's boyfriend's sister who knows "a bit of sign language" for a relatives funeral, in the past.  I had groaned, rolling my eyes, and suggested two different interpreting services available in town, to be told "they are too expensive," NEVER MIND that I had offered to pay out of my pocket, at a family wedding.  

Reading the "Hearing privilege" article, I found one fitting for this: Hearing privilege is representing yourself.  Knowing your exact choice of words are used.  You do not have to wait for an interpreter.  You do not have to wonder if the interpreter will be skilled or qualified. (Exploring Hearing Privilege).   

And to add one other: Hearing privilege means that you can expect that all members of your family can and will communicate fluently in your first language. 

Not many folks understand- I have to fight for this almost everyday.  If not at work, then at the hospital.  If not at the hospital, then at the workshops at a convention.   

Sometimes I wonder if being childless also contributes, to the point when I'd try to find a connection, if not by deafness, then by children.    The Deaf community in town highly value children to the point, every Deaf women I had encountered, had children. Unspoken rule, but it's there- "No children, you're unseen."   Young Deaf women who hadn't yet have children, are poked at, "When will you get married? You're not getting any younger" and they are subtly regarded of  "as a freak" if not pregnant or not having children.  Once it is found that I don't have children, I'm not welcome in the deaf groups.  Very nice.   

I don't even WANT to know about what my family was thinking when they found that I had to have my hysterectomy, knowing there were many families out there that dread having their deaf adults becoming parents, in fear that their grandchildren could be deaf (never mind that deaf children born to deaf parents are at 5% compared to deaf children born to hearing parents (more than 90%.)  I truly don't want to know.  

You know, I'm tired.    

At least, somewhere on the yellow brick road, I hope not to find my heart broken.  The scarecrow can keep his brain- this is more a situation for emotional than intellectual.  The lion can retain his courage- I'm tired of being strong.  

And yes, I'm aware of the black cloud above my head lately, and that's why I'm going on a vacation- I hope to find labyrinths in town, to use my new camera to photograph vintage towns, and get together with friends that I hadn't seen since high school.  

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Silence

I saw something on Facebook, which threw me off-balance.     I saw photos of my dead cousin.

You see, my cousin died a few days after his 27th birthday while I was in graduate school some years ago.   Due to a delicate timing (comprehensive examinations), I couldn't fly out there to attend the funeral, with family also encouraging me to stay in school.   Was easier for the family and easier for me as well for me not to go.

Since then, I had been wondering.   I know that my aunt had been aching badly after her son's death- to have a child die before the parent's time, that has to be the worst moment ever.  I know she have increased in keeping in touch with me since then....   

I admit, I wept but shortly when I was told the news. 

 It was only later on when there was a dance performance on campus, when they announced the performers would honor the soldiers afar, their mission, their willingness to fight, and to remember the ones who died-   watching the dance, I broke down.  I dashed to the bathroom, crying.  I wept talking with the professor who followed me.    I realized I hadn't processed the death.  

To this day,I hadn't yet visited his grave.  It has been four years since....   

I remember when he was a bald baby.  I remember when I held his hand when we walked through the family peach orchard when he was four.  I remember encouraging him as we tried to capture tadpoles in the flooded ditches on the family farm when he was eight.  


Very chattering, he chased after other cousins, as I read my romances, me being in my twenties, annoyed at their attempts to distract me.  He and other cousins in their adolescences laughed as we lit the fireworks.  

We did not talk to each other once he hit his late adolescence- but for hugging or nodding at each other which had continued for a bit less than fifteen years.  It was not that we didn't like each other-  just that he didn't know what to say to me, and neither did I.  I knew sign language and he didn't, and I regret, that was an obstacle between us. 

I remember when he came back from his first tour from Afghanistan-  his laughing eyes no longer, but eyes black full of dark memories.    

I remember the last time I saw him,  he was very quiet.     He had been out of Marines for a long while, and I was relieved that he came out okay-   but he wasn't okay, after all.  

I remember when he came up to me during the holiday before, and asked if we could hang out-  I was surprised, yet not surprised.  I knew he was hurting.  My guts told me, he needed to be with someone who would not expect him to be strong.  What was surprising, was that he asked me.  What could I do to help him if we couldn't communicate?

So we went on a car ride.  On that road trip, a long drive-  he smoked-  now he knew I didn't like smoking, but I kept quiet- I knew he just needed company.     Just someone who'd be there yet not talking.

Silence deep, heartfelt.    The silence; it was fulfilling what he was searching within.   We returned back home, and he held me long. I could feel him sobbing in his chest, as I held him.   

He needed what was given, to be vulnerable, and to be loved for himself.  

When I found out how he died, I was not surprised.     I loved him and I forgave him.  


So, seeing photos on Facebook, that had not been shared at all until now, by a friend who hung out with the cousin, and now his brother, the older brother;  I found myself back on a remembrance flashback.  

I found myself smiling seeing the photo of him smiling and flipping the bird in one photo, yet my heart ached when seeing one other photo of him wearing an Marine service uniform, and one other photo, the face recognizable yet unrecognizable to me, of a stranger in his body.   

And I realize something.    I envy him.  He had no children, yet he will be always remembered.  He was just like James Dean or River Phoenix; their young lives cut short and abruptly.   Sudden, a child that died before the parent, which should not have happened.   Parents are supposed to go before the children, yet he died before his parents. His mom is still grieving;  so does his family.  I find myself hurting too.  Looking back to seeing him as a child, then teenager, and then an adult-  I cannot imagine losing a child after getting to know him.

We did not talk.  I did not get to know what he liked to do (except for fishing- that we had in common).  But I learned something on that day on the long road trip going nowhere-  He was tired of being strong.  

And so was I.     

And so am I now.   

I'm tired of being strong. I'm tired of "looking fine."  Not everything is fine, ladies.   By tomorrow, it would have been six months since the surgery, the execution of fertility; curtains down on my dreams for carrying a baby of mine.  

Unlike many of you readers,  I don't have a partner, spouse or someone to be my cheerleader, my booster, someone to keep my sanity, someone to help keep me going.  I don't have someone who'd poke his head in while I was showering, to ask, "you seen my keys?"  I don't have someone to remind me that there is other definitions of family, which does not have to include children.  I don't have someone to hold me in bed and whisper, "it's okay, I'm here."  I'm single, and being alone going through the thunderstorm-

you know what? 

It sucks.  And.  I'm.  Drained physically. Tired emotionally. Exhausted spiritually.  


This coming weekend and next week, I'm going down a thousand miles to see my family that I had not seen for more than a year.  

I will get to visit my cousin; his grave that I had never seen, way overdue for four years.  

I loved him.  Yet we didn't talk last time, and I don't expect us to talk during this visit. Mark will be there in spirit.
You know, in an odd way, I suspect he would have understood me, of all the family. And that's what I needed to know.  


Silence- where I could not be strong, to be one with my vulnerability.    


And to be there in the moment, to be mindful; body, mind and spirit.   

 To be me. 


Monday, August 6, 2012

Small step, big step?

As y'all know I had a nephew who was born a few weeks ago, and that I have intentions to see him at Xmas. Before that, I realized I'd need to see a baby in real life;  don't get me wrong, I have seen babies here and there, but I hadn't held one since oh...  *thinking*  last August.  

I basically experienced a "mood swing" for many days, considering when to ask my friend on whether I could hold her baby (by now, three months)-- "I should ask her" on some days,  "forget it, I can't do it." on other days.

Last week, on an impulse, I went to her office, and said-asked, "you know I have a nephew...you know my situation.... I want to see how it'd be like for me to hold  a baby.... can I hold your baby sometimes later?"
My heart raced insanely, as if I was running in a marathon.

She reassured me that she'd be happy to help out, and that I am to take my time-  either do it at her home, or she'd bring the baby by at my place.  Just to let her know when I'd like to do that.  

I thanked her, and returned to my office.



What have I gotten myself into?    

Saturday, August 4, 2012

My eggs, that is, chocolate eggs!



I got my eggs yesterday!  

 I'm not referring to eggs in my ovary or of chicken eggs, but of Cadbury creme eggs ...  Everyone who knows me, knows that I'd do *anything* to get my cadbury creme fix;  I even said,"now if there is a heir to the Cadbury egg company, I'll marry him instantly even if he was 40 years old older than me, or with no legs.  All just for the eggs."  I got maybe 50-60 creme eggs from family and friends before and after my hysterectomy in February- I'm not sure if that's a fair trade. :::struggling to keep a straight face here:::

I had been out of eggs since two months, and I know I'll have to wait 'til January... *mourning sigh*
Anyway, a friend saw some Cadbury Creme eggs (Screme eggs with Halloween coming up in almost three months) at a store near her home and immediately thought of me. She posted a pix of the eggs, on purpose to see how I'd react (that should tell you how well they know me) and I instantly went nuts, "WHERE?!! I MUST HAVE THEM!!"     I practiced my puppy eyes pose, the *whimper* tone and my charming skills, in hope to get the friend to send them....

Turned out she was already planning to send them...  didn't have to use my talent... Well, at least I got the practice.

The eggs arrived through FedEx- but since no one was at home (10am- why is that?!), the friend told me that they didn't drop off the package at the door.  I flipped out, " I must have my fix!"    I saw the slip tag on my door and they said to sign the tag, they'll drop next Monday.   Hell no way!  So I drove 30 minutes to the  FedEx location...   I opened the package right there in the office to make sure they were all there....


Hello, my pretties!  

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Pinning information about childlessness and infertility?



Quietly, I cruise through Pinterest, enjoying finding images and following up to links attached to the images.  To my surprise, there's not much pins on infertility, even LESS for childlessness (by or not by choice), or living after infertility.    


I wonder why....?


Me, I'd not mind sharing information- but so far I have seen of childlessness or living after infertility are blogs,  and a few information links.

IMO, I feel it's good to share information/publicize the other side of infertility- after all not everyone of us are able to have children.  Why could one stay invisible, just because of not having children?

Your thoughts?  :)