I was supposed to go to that support group tonight, but life got in the way. We are struggling with our families and our Thanksgiving plans, trying to juggle three houses and make everyone happy. We are in the middle of the most hectic week of the year at work, trying to keep our sanity when we can barely walk in the store because there are so many people, can barely walk in the back room because there are so many turkeys.
So tonight, I chose to stay home and have a quiet dinner with Doug. He’s had a few rough days, and I feel like I owe it to him to take care of him the way he takes care of me. I made the only dish I know how to cook well, which, thankfully, he loves; I bought him a Chargers Santa hat and some white-chocolate-dipped Oreos; I am here, available to talk if he wants advice or encouragement, to listen if he just wants to vent.
Part of me wonders whether I opted to skip the support group because I’m nervous about going to a support group, or because it was too far of a drive given the threat of rain, or because I’m just lazy. But I can confront all those possibilities again before the next meeting – since I haven’t been before, they didn’t know to expect me tonight – and tonight, I really felt like I needed to be at home.
This blog is supposed to be about healing. But since I have been enlightened to the fact that complete healing may not be possible, I feel like it’s fair to turn my attention to healing-lite. Yes, going to a support group about Pregnancy Loss and Infertility would probably help me feel less alone in my suffering; it might give me some insight as to why I feel the things I feel and react in the ways that I do; it might give me some new, untried tactics for surviving in a baby-crazy world. However, there is something to be said for healing immediate discomforts (Doug’s as well as my own) instead. It made me think of this, the favored mantra of support groups everywhere:
God, grand me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
It also made me think of this currently trendy British poster/slogan from the World War II era:
I cannot change the things that have happened to me, and I may not be able to fix myself the way I had hoped. But I can carry on with my everyday life and give it as much face time and value as I do to my dreams of my life-before-miscarriage. And I can fix some things here at home, like my boyfriend’s stress level and emotional state over the last two days.
Doug came home a little later than I expected, and dinner was just about finished. He thanked me for being there, and we sat and talked for a few minutes until he realized that the food might be getting cold, so we decided to eat. I showed him the hat I’d left for him on the coffee table, which made him smile, and then I told him to try it on. When he picked up the hat, and saw the Oreos underneath, he started to cry.
“Why are you crying?” I asked playfully. “They’re good cookies.”
I am confident that I chose correctly tonight: love above all else. Above all stress, above all mistakes, above all misunderstandings: love.
Maybe it’s not all about “getting over my miscarriage” and emotionally preparing myself to be a good wife/mother one day. Maybe it’s about practicing being those things, with the opportunities that are being given to me every day. I liken it to learning a language: sure, you can study and listen to tapes and memorize grammar rules to learn it artificially… Or you can go to the country where that language is spoken, immerse yourself in it, and learn it naturally. So that people will never believe there was a time when you didn’t even know a word. (And as someone who once had a French hotel concierge tell her she spoke very good English for a française, I can assure you that this immersion method works infinitely better than a textbook.)
I am planting this seed as a possibility for my next project.