THOUGHTS ON NEW BEGINNINGS

In the green of the fields, in the light filled rain, in the soft tincture of floral notes, is the light that fills part of my soul

Art by Monica McNaught-Lee.

I wish you were here with me, so I could tell you how hard every moment of life has been without you. 

Your memory is a treasure and you are missed beyond measure. 

Time slips by, life goes on, but the desolation you have left in my heart will never be healed.

Grief is natural, I suppose. To see it as the enemy, the unwelcome guest that is distinct enough to change one’s outlook in life. Love is very unobtrusive, seemingly easy and obvious, and so ever-present that we take it for granted. It is only in retrospect — or better, in memory — that we fully realise its power and strength.

Can motherhood be fulfilled only by bearing one’s child? Does it cease to exist when one’s child ceases to exist, unable to ever be seen, heard, felt? 

The ache is deep inside my heart when I see other moms playing with their children, their faces glowing with happiness — it’s the comfort, the smile, the connection that we admire and long for in life. The void in my life because of your absence hurts infinitely. 

My shriek fills the room and slowly staggers through the hallway, crawling along the creaking floorboards and echoing out into the kitchen. My self-pity grows like some malady that I pray will soon be the death of me. 

I focus on getting through every moment and each empty day, feeling lost and panicked in this chaotic maze. We are all so different and yet so much the same. Everyone, in some way or another, will experience some kind of pain.

In the green of the fields, in the light filled rain, in the soft tincture of floral notes, is the light that fills part of my soul. A calmness, an insouciance, a place where I can breathe again. Travelling to this place has rendered me introspective. Life can seem like an endless maze — the twists and turns, lulls and delays — but things always fall into place. 

My heart swells as soft bubbles of laughter drift through the air and fall on my ear, clumsy, yet endearing. Inexplicably, I am drawn towards the sound — my feet, guided by emotion, walk in a direction in congruent with my fiercely logical mind — and I find myself teetering over the threshold of the orphanage. Compelled by a force I can only describe as fate, I take a step forward, then another, and another. With each step my heart pounds faster, growing restless with the power of such an impetuous, out-of-character decision, until I am almost knocked off my feet by a pair of equally eager legs. I look down, shocked and amused, and she looks up, wide-eyed and giggling. A childless mother, a motherless child… Two longing hearts, standing transfixed, grinning at each other, overcome by the sense of home that they just stumbled upon.

I don’t know how I came to this place. It’s clear to me now that there is no turning back. Adopting her has given me the chance to be someone special, allowing me to reshape my life, and imagine you in it. The journey of life, to love and be loved, because you and she have filled my dreams in more ways than words could say.  Love, contentment, and care are intertwined in the meeting of her arms and mine. As she wraps her hand around my finger, I feel your hand on my heart, sending me strength, peace and joy. Your hand, my heart, her hand – we all are connected by this infinite bond we share. Being barren is painful indeed, and that love can be torturous, we all must concede. 

My empty heart was always longing for an embrace, filled by her enlivening face. Rooms which lay silent, forlorn and bare, echo anew with laughter and grace. 

Origami birds, chimes and stuffed toys — your toys; her toys — all collected together to form the warm embrace of home. 

Now home feels like a place where you are alive, where worries are none but time and joy are one. Where hope, faith and love coexist and my days of living in both reality and peace re-emerge. For us to have each other is a dream come true. And so, I speak this truth to both of you: no, I didn’t give you the gift of life; life gave me the gift of you.