So I have a draft saved, an update post – all about how infertility has affected my body image, my parenting, and my marriage. And every time I go back to it, I keep tweaking things here and there… but I can’t seem to press the “publish” button.
I’m not actually sure I can blame IF for the way I feel about myself, my parenting, or my marriage.
What I know: Right now I seem to be in a place that’s bleak and dreary. Maybe it’s the awful winter, or maybe it’s knowing we’re done with family building, or maybe it’s because I’m coming up on 40 and am realizing that the horizon is NOT wide open for me anymore.
I feel as if I’ve spent my whole life, up until this time, looking for the Golden Ticket, always looking ahead for that next chocolate bar – the bar which might actually hold my ticket to lasting contentment and happiness.
My whole life has looked like that. Wow, I’m in kindergarten – hey, next year I’ll be a first grader! Wow, a fifth grader! A middle schooler! And look how old I am now, I’m in high school. Cannot WAIT until college. Wow, I’m here, in college. What will I major in? Crap, I am graduating college in May. I need a career. Nope, that career isn’t awesome. I’ll go back to graduate school for a practical career. Except, wait, I hate marketing. Another graduate degree – accounting would be recession-proof! I’ll never have to worry about being out of work. Now what? Oh. Pick a partner. Marriage. Let’s start trying for kids. Oh, no kids yet? Okay, fine, let’s look for a house. Found one? Great! Wow, I’m pregnant, finally. He’s two, we should start trying for a sibling… all right, well, that didn’t work out so well, but thank GOODNESS it’s over. Shit. Now what?
I never did find that Golden Ticket. And I feel like I’m standing outside of the Chocolate Factory gate, looking at all the lucky kids who DID get their Golden Ticket – the people that completed their families AND work a career they love AND qualified for the Boston Marathon AND can actually be photographed in a bikini.
At some point, we enter a place in our lives where we run out of milestones yet to meet. My education: complete. My family building efforts: complete. I have a husband, and a son, and a house, and a dog, and a job, and many responsibilities. There are options open to me, of course, but all require sacrifice and energy and time I no longer seem to have.
And all of a sudden, it’s my kid who has the milestones ahead of him: my kindergartener, who is turning 6 in two weeks. It’s his turn to search for his Golden Ticket.
But wait! I want to scream. I didn’t imagine my life like looking LIKE THIS!
And so it’s easy to get mad, and blame all sorts of things for why this wasn’t the life I wanted. Infertility robbed us of our second child. My body is to blame for why we can’t complete our family. My husband is to blame for why we need to struggle with doctors and IVF in order to get pregnant. My parents are to blame why I ended up in the career I’m in. If my cousin hadn’t committed suicide 20 years ago, I wouldn’t be such a perfectionist who is worried about making sure her friends and family get the support they need all the time, to the detriment of my own life.
Et cetera et cetera.
But the thing is?
*I* made the decisions on the paths I’ve walked. Not infertility, not my parents, not my body, not my husband, or son, or Amy.
And if I was making choices mindlessly, because I was focused on looking for that Golden Ticket?
It’s really no fault but my own.
I acknowledge that “fault” is a bad word here. It implies that I was wrong somehow, that I made bad choices. But I made those with knowledge and experience I had at the time. Which means they were just choices, not wrong or bad.
What I’m struggling with now is how to change my ingrained habits: Focusing too much on the future and forcing choices upon myself because I need to get out of where I am today. I am realizing that it’s a control thing – this idea that I have to DO something when I’m not as happy as I expected to be. I have to change up SOMETHING, I have to structure a new goal for myself to work towards, because THAT’S my Golden Ticket to happiness!
Why wouldn’t we try again, since our doctor recommends another fresh cycle? Why couldn’t we take another break and then do a fresh cycle, maybe in the fall once running season is over? Okay, if we don’t do that, why wouldn’t I focus then on running the best marathon EVER and qualify for Boston so I can prove to myself that my body doesn’t suck? Or maybe I can totally change up my careers, because accounting doesn’t really make me happy even though it’s pretty flexible and I make good money, it’s just not what I wanted. I think I want to [insert a new career here].
These are all goals for the sake of making goals. If I can’t find the Golden Ticket to Happiness, then maybe I can create happiness by looking for multiple mini-tickets. More is better, and I’ll DEFINITELY be happy when I meet all of my goals, right?
So here’s what I need to be doing, instead of all of this mindless goal-making.
Do nothing, Serenity. Just focus on the path you are walking right now.
Running-wise, I am training for a marathon in the spring. But my goal is ONLY to run the whole thing. I’d LOVE to have a comfortable marathon experience, since my last two marathons had a LOT of walking in them, a factor of injury and then starting way too fast and not being able to sustain.
Family-wise, We are done with family building. No matter how much the idea of trying again – maybe the next one will work! – niggles at me, we’re done. We’ve spent enough time and energy on family building. We’re done.
Career-wise, the more I think on my current work, the more I wonder if I’m selling myself short. I am a good accountant, and I actually really enjoy the work I do as treasurer of my running club. I love doing budgets and discussing options with people. Why COULDN’T I stay in the field in which I work – except go and get my own clients, maybe small businesses that might need some reporting/budgeting/accounting help? It won’t pay as much as the corporate work for sure, but I bet I could make my own hours.
Marriage-wise, I need to rediscover the man I married without the pall of procreation fail hanging over our heads. It’s so hard to carve out the time and energy to do this when you have the incessant, unceasing needs of an almost 6 year old only child competing with your marriage. There are days where all I want to do is enjoy the SILENCE of my house when Lucky is in bed. But that’s shortchanging Charlie and my marriage, and we really need to tend to it right now.
And maybe, just maybe, when I can figure out how to be still, I’ll find that my Golden Ticket has been in my pocket all along, and I never really noticed it before.
It’s funny. Even when I believe have found a lasting peace in walking away from treatments?
Any reminder of how much time and energy and suffering we spent on treatments brings on a flare of grief and anger with a depth that scares me.
We couldn’t have known how things would turn out, though. I mean, I was able to carry a baby to term. Why wouldn’t we think we could do it again?
Whenever I get mad at how much time we wasted on treatments, I keep reminding myself: We couldn’t have known.
We didn’t know. We thought that all the struggle would be worth it when we brought home our baby.
But the fact is, we did not bring home a baby. We are done.
So what now?
I don’t want to use this space to mourn my lost chances anymore. I need to change the way I think and feel about our infertility.
I used to refer to it as making lemonade. Back when we were trying for Lucky, I had hoped that it would being good karma to our cycles; that if I looked at things in a positive light, it might help it work.
The fallout from my last miscarriage scared the shit out of me; it took me months to claw out of that dark hole of hopelessness.
Changing the way I view our infertility and the End of Treatments is more than just a way to make lemonade or create good karma now.
It is essential – so we can move on. And heal.
So. What now?
I have always been the kind of person who looks ahead and changes up my life when I feel like I am unhappy. Hate my career? No problem – go back to school for a new one. Can’t have a baby? No problem – go to a new clinic and try a new protocol.
I need to learn how to change my feelings without changing my life.
I am considering learning mediation. I have the idea that creating space in my life for stillness might be a good thing for me.
I am also still working with my therapist. After three years of working together, I trust her to help me get down into the heart of the real issues: 38 years of mental and emotional habits are hard to break.
I know that healing is not linear. I also know that I need to take this a day at a time.
And I do know that we will all be okay in the end.
That is something, for sure.
I show up in the usual ultrasound department this morning at 6:30, knowing that the first blood draw starts at 6:45.
At 6:45, I’m directed upstairs to the OB/GYN department – apparent there are too many monitoring patients, and for bloodwork only you are seen on the 3rd floor.
I am the first there. They call my name at 7:00 sharp, and I walk in. There are two phlebotomists in the office, one all business, the other quietly waiting by the chairs.
What test? The business one asks me.
Pregnancy, I respond. I nearly choke on the word in my throat.
The quiet one asks me, How are you today?
I admit: It’s not one of my better days. As I roll up the sleeve on my left arm, I point out the pinhead scar on the vein from so many other draws. Think you can work around this? Or do you want to draw from my other arm?
She confirms she can work from it, there’s another vein in that arm that looks good.
And as she’s putting the needle in, she asks me, so kindly: How many is this?
I pause. I have no idea. I don’t know, I say. I’ve lost count. But we did get lucky once – I have a son who is going to be 6 next month.
She finishes my draw, gives me the pad to hold to the vein, and then tapes me up. And she says something which I can’t remember now. Probably empathetic and sweet and nice, because she was the first person who has taken my blood that has really asked me how I am. And I really have the sense she CARES about my response.
But all I can hear, as I’m putting my sweater and coat back on, is her question.
How many is this?
I really have no idea.
How many cycles, how much hope lost, how many embryos squandered?
How much suffering, how much loss?
The tears come unbidden. I can’t stop them – it’s all I can do to get down the three flights of stairs to the main lobby so I can escape into the winter air. I manage to get to my car before completely breaking down.
We started this second round of treatments almost 4 years ago. Of course we’d get pregnant again; after all, we fixed my uterus with surgery and then got pregnant and had our son at term – 37 weeks. It was resolved – we fixed Ute.
But here I am – however many cycles later. With no baby to show for it.
I know it was a fight worth fighting; it’s our FAMILY, after all. But if I had known that we’d lose the war, I would have stopped a long, long time ago.
Because this time around, it’s affected everything. My marriage, my happiness, my identity, my dreams, my hopes, my fears; the very foundation of who I am and what I believe.
I used to believe that if you worked hard enough, you’d succeed. I used to believe that there were battles worth fighting. I used to believe that infertility might bring me and my husband closer together. I used to believe that infertility helped make my heart bigger; it gave me a huge reservoir of empathy and gratitude for where I did get Lucky. I used to believe that if you put something out into the universe, you’d get it eventually, even if it wasn’t in the form you expected.
Today, though, I don’t know that I believe in any of it. I loathe my body. There’s a chasm between my husband and I that I’m not sure we can ever bridge. I have so little control over anything in this life.
And I sometimes want to smack the little girl inside me who thinks that by wishing on a fucking star, I’ll make my wishes come true.
We worked so hard to make our dreams come true.
So hard, we lost count.
I’m not sure if any of you even reads this blog anymore.
What happened last spring: I was heartbroken, tired of writing about heartbreak, and I had a falling out with someone over a post I had written in this space.
I felt like I couldn’t write here anymore, I felt as if I needed space. And time. And distance.
And I had another blog anyway – using my real name. It was about running and parenting and I linked it to Bacefook and thought maybe I’d try my hand at writing as the REAL me.
I’m not sure if it’s surprising to any of you, but I have a really hard time writing there. Mostly because I use my writing as a way to work things/issues/problems out.
And in that space, when I’m writing something, I have this question I can’t shake. Who cares?
Really, who cares?
SO many people post to Bacefook about their plans and hopes and dreams, only to have people “like” and move on. There are so many voices out there, all yelling to be heard.
What then, is the point, of putting my point of view out there?
And over the past year or so, I’ve had people comment here, wondering how things were for me, wondering about our leftover embryos, wondering how me, Charlie, and Lucky were doing.
So last fall I ran another marathon. I had an amazing training cycle, nothing hurt, it was wonderful and amazing. And on race day, I finished with a 45 minute personal best. Our dog, Happy, is growing, and aside from the times he’s a complete butthole, is turning into a wonderful, stinky, goofy, happy dog. Lucky started kindergarten, is learning how to read, and incessantly tells us stories about the amazing things that Bear can do.
And we used up the remaining three embryos we had left in two separate cycles. Both cycles were BFNs.
In fact, I got the last BFN this very morning; at 14dpo, after a night of insomnia where I just kind of KNEW. So this morning I made it official: I photographed the snowy white HPT, and threw away all my meds.
We have reached the very End of Family Building. We are done. There are no more embryos. There will be no more treatments, no what-ifs.
In a lot of respects, the end of treatments is a relief. This last cycle, in particular, was a pain in the ass. It was delayed by nearly two weeks because my uterine lining wasn’t thick enough to meet the clinic’s minimum criteria. And my clinic had a flood, which meant that they weren’t doing transfers and retrievals at New Clinic – instead they leased space at Old Clinic. We ended up back at our old clinic for our last transfer. In fact, we had a bit of a run in with our old doctor, Dr. Hang-In-There, on the day of transfer.
Full fucking circle, indeed.
I’m not surprised it didn’t work. I’m not even heartbroken. There was no more heart to break, no real hope left for us, not really.
And I’ll admit it: I have spent much of the past number of months feeling alone. I am one of the few bloggers left who was able to have one child through treatments, but not have any others. It’s an in-between kind of hell, honestly – when you have a child, you can’t escape other families, all of whom seem to have multiple children, very easily. You are forced to confront lots of pregnant bellies at daycare, at school, at playdates. There are always questions, Is he your only? or How many kids do you have?
And there are people in the grocery store who have actually said to Charlie, when seeing how good he is with Lucky, You are a great dad, and you need to have more kids.
Seriously, people? SERIOUSLY?
So to cope, I’ve been searching out people in my real life who have older kids and have announced that they are done with family building so I’m not taken by surprise when they are pregnant again. I have actually sought out people with one child, usually older, and have asked them how they feel about having an only child, in order to suss out whether or not they want to have more. It’s been kind of ridiculous.
But what I’ve discovered over the past few months, too?
The more I talk with women who HAVE completed their families, the more I’m starting to see that I am NOT alone. My grief over the End of Family Building is shared by so many other women – even the ones who have completed their families. I talk with so many women who STILL, even now, look at babies and sigh in longing, remembering what it was like to have a little person so completely helpless and dependent on you.
It’s intimacy on the most pure level, those first few months with your baby.
And it makes sense that all women would feel strongly about letting that go; regardless of whether or not they feel like their family is complete.
The more I’ve talked with women, and discovered they feel similarly to me, the less alone I feel.
The less alone I feel, the more peace I feel about The End of Family Building.
Because instead of seeing it as a choice I was forced into making, I can see it as the natural progress of being female. At one point or another, we ALL come to the point of the End of Family Building, and we are forced to start a new chapter in our lives.
I feel like maybe by focusing on what I DO have – an amazing almost 6 year old, a good man as a husband, a loving dog, a career that affords us financial security and opportunity – that the next chapter will be full enough that I won’t feel as if we are missing something.
So that’s where I am, right now. And though I can’t promise anything, I think I’d like to use this space again for working things out, particularly as it relates to this new chapter. Because I am left with so many questions, after nearly 9 years of trying to complete our family.
Who am I? What will this life – the one I have right now – look like? What do I need to do to find lasting contentment in what I have, and how can I make our life as full as possible?
I hope you all are well.
My dear ghost child:
I still see you, in the space between sleep and waking. Often, when in the throes of insomnia, I wake every two hours to your phantom cries.
I dream of you: in them, you nurse quietly, and I bend to kiss your head, the sweet scent of you filling me.
You would have been mine this month, I know it. You’d have been early like your brother was, little and quiet and sleepy for those first few weeks. We would have taken walks every day, now that I know where all the sidewalks in town are. We’d cheer for your brother as he plays tee ball and spent time hiking. And you’d have gotten used to the rocking of the jogging stroller – the one indulgence I had planned for this baby.
You’d have been my running buddy, the one thing that would be yours and mine alone.
And this September, you and I and your brother would have gone to the bus stop together, you in the ergo, waving goodbye to your big brother as he got on the bus to go to school for the first time. We might have gone for our walk after then, or maybe then we’d head to daycare, where you’d get to spend the next few years getting to know kids in your class until you, too, went to kindergarten.
I don’t know if you’d be an abysmal sleeper like your brother was, but I can tell you I’m an expert at helping babies sleep, so I think your daddy and I would have figured out a way to get you to sleep pretty well.
Would you have looked like Lucky, who was so dark when he was born? Or would you be the spitting image of your daddy?
Would you have loved to dance and sing and twirl along to the songs like I did when I was a little girl?
I wish I had the chance to know. Right now, as it warms up and the leaves come out on the trees, I wish I had the hope of taking you for a walk, or bringing you for a run in the jogging stroller. I wish we had the blue room made up as your bedroom and I could sit in there in quieter moments, rubbing my swollen belly, feeling you roll underneath my hand.
I miss you.
But you’re not here. And with every week that goes by, every week further from the moment I learned you weren’t to be, I grow farther away from you.
We got a puppy, you know. We named him Happy. Your dad and I figured that if Lucky couldn’t be a big brother, he might as well have a companion. He loves Happy; loves to make him run and throw a ball for fetch and play tug of war with him.
I’m starting to realize that we might never meet you – that you will always be my ghost child, a figment of my imagination. Representing my hopes and dreams of a very different kind of family than the one we have today.
The family we have today – the four of us now – is okay. More than okay, it’s our life in the here and now.
And I need to live it. I need to let go of the dream of having two children; I need to release the pain and the anger and the bitter and let it fly away.
I need to let YOU go.
I love you, and I wish SO much that things were different. I wish that you were in my arms, that my love for you could have made you real. We fought as long as we could to bring you home with us. And I’m sorry we couldn’t do more.
It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.
- Dumbledore, “The Sorcerer’s Stone”
I am awful at goodbyes.
It’s time, though.
This space of mine no longer feels like an opening; it feels like a shackle, chaining me to infertility. It’s my own fault, of course – writing about infertility was a hobby of mine back in the day.
But now it’s a painful reminder of what I don’t have.
And I can no longer dwell in my dreams.
You know how to find me. And I love you all.
(That’s not his real name. But I figured he needed a good blog moniker too. And since he makes my heart happy – and Lucky’s, too, and Charlie’s too- Happy the dog it is. :))
He was not the biggest puppy, nor the most energetic. But he was super sweet; content to wag his tail and wait for Lucky to come into the dog pen at the breeder’s. Actually, he took to ALL of us right away. Having grown up with breeds that intensely bond with one person and then become Protector of Loved Person, it was odd to see him attach to all of us in different ways.
He loved chasing Lucky around the yard yesterday afternoon. When we first went inside the house, Happy was so tentative, and it was only Lucky playing in the living room that got him to explore the rest of the house.
As he explored, he’d come back and climb into my lap for a snuggle, which reminded me of when Lucky was a toddler and first exploring a new place – I acted like home base for him.
And he followed Charlie around the kitchen last night and laid down at his feet whenever Charlie sat down.
We’re kind of in love.
Because, seriously, how can you NOT love this face?
The thing is – and I want to clarify my last post – I don’t actually blame the photographer who took the picture. In his interview, he said that he cries whenever he sees his picture. The baby was crying, he said in an interview.
And it goes to the news, too. I don’t hate the photographers and cameramen that were there that day. I think they came away from the tragedy just as affected as we all are. I watched too many news people, on Monday night, exercising incredible professionalism when they were clearly emotional about what they saw.
What hurt me most WASN’T the fact that photographers were there. It’s not that they took the pictures of the wounded, the terrified, the shocked, the helpers. It’s not even that the magazine chose a provocative picture like the one they did to sell magazines.
It was the idea that her son was suffering – screaming, terrified and injured – while she stood queued up with the other runners who couldn’t finish the race. Every time I think about it, it terrifies me on the deepest level – the idea of being separated from MY son and husband; the two people who mean most in the world to me, while they live through something as awful as the aftermath of a bomb filled with nails and ball bearings.
It’s personal, you see.
I can easily put myself in her place.
I came away from last week’s with dread, with the crystallization of a realization. It’s been been there, in some form or another, since planes crashed into the Twin Towers on September 11.
But no place is safe, not really.
Schools. Airports. Work.
And running, you see, is part of my therapy – the way I stay balanced, happy, joyful. Running – even short ones, like the half hour I did today – soothes my jangled nerves and fills in the missing gaps with happiness and endorphins and thankfulness for my breath and strong muscles.
My family doesn’t really UNDERSTAND how much I love running. They benefit from the results – a more happy, balanced me. But Charlie would rather walk a golf course or fish in the sunrise or spend the day hiking.
So it took the picture on that magazine, I think, to help me really grieve.
I’ve lost my naive, rose-colored perception that I have control over keeping my husband and son safe.
So what now?
Well, the capture of the guys who did it was a good first step.
I’ve continued to run this week, and each step I take makes me feel better and stronger. It’s small – really nothing – but every run I do makes me feel like I’m not going to give into the dread and fear.
And the biggest decision we made: we’re getting a puppy. Today, we are visiting a breeder who has 7 available golden retriever puppies. And provided we find the one that’s perfect for our family, we’re going to bring him/her home.
I saw an article this week about the golden retrievers – therapy dogs – who went to Newtown immediately after the shooting. And those same dogs were in Boston this week.
And on Thursday, driving into Boston, I was struck with this thought.
I WANT A PUPPY.
I want my own therapy dog.
Immediately after my D&E last fall, I made the decision to get a puppy. It was an intense desire, a need for a baby. We didn’t act on it, because I wanted more time to think about it. (And really – a puppy in November? In New England? Not the smartest decision.) And the desire flared up inside me again this week, too – the same need.
I have pretty much given up on the idea of having another baby of my own. But a puppy is a baby, too.
And I have a lot of love to give.
And right now? The timing couldn’t be better. It’s spring. Charlie is working from home until mid June and I have most of July off. We have neighbors and friends who actually WANT to pet sit for us. Lucky is starting school in the fall and we’ll then be tied to a school schedule.
I can’t tell you how excited and nervous I feel today. Charlie and I were laughing that we were more excited than Lucky is, mostly because he doesn’t really grasp the concept that HE is getting a puppy.
And I feel like it’s fitting that we end this week with an addition to our family, with adding more life and love to our world.
I’ll keep you all posted – and will definitely post pictures!
At 2:50 on Monday, when a friend from my running club was not yet at the finish of her first Boston Marathon, two bombs went off. Her husband was badly injured in the second blast. Their three year old son, thankfully, was not badly hurt – likely due to her husband’s courage.
And while she was not yet aware of what was going on, still running her race, a photographer, capturing the images of all of the chaos and mayhem, snapped a picture of her terrified son.
And then he sold that picture to a national magazine, which chose his image for its cover.
It makes sense how few details she has released to us, her running tribe, about the whole thing. Why she took down her Facebook page. Why she isn’t answering phone calls or emails or texts. Why three of her best friends are running interference for her and imploring us all: “Please do not comment to the press.”
I cannot get past the fact that she stood on Charlesgate with all of the other runners while her husband bled and her son screamed… and a photographer took pictures. The mother in me screams in anger and grief.
None of this is okay. There’s NOTHING okay about it. There is no place that’s safe. Those fuckers took away my one safe place – running. They hurt one of my tribe. And I am frayed beyond belief today.
I stood in the cold tonight, after running 3 miles with a friend, then 3 more miles with my running club, then 1 more in tribute to the victims of the attack on Monday with everyone else in town.
And I lit a candle and I listened to a minister and rabbi talk about being Strong, because We Are Boston.
And I want to scream. The god I believe in doesn’t do shit like this to ‘test’ us. I don’t WANT to be strong if it means I have to sacrifice my husband and son.
So yeah. Today’s not a good day.
But I ran.
Lucky and I came out of family swim time, him chattering away about swimming and how high he could jump; how well he swam all by himself yesterday. I helped him into his carseat, handed him his juice and snack, and casually checked my phone as I walked around to the driver’s side of the car.
Four texts, two calls, and a voicemail. And a CNN alert.
The texts: “Where are you?”
“You’re not running Boston today, are you?”
“Been watching the coverage and now 2 confirmed dead & 22 injured. Is everyone you know safe? My god!”
The panic I felt for my all my running friends, in that moment, was overwhelming. I couldn’t get Charlie on the phone. My running friend Jen, the one who was tracking the progress of so many, wasn’t answering her phone either. My MIL picked up the phone, but she didn’t have anything in the way of comfort to offer me. My SIL told me the details of what happened – the time and facts.
And when I was in between calls, Lucky requested, “Mommy, please tell me what happened.”
In the moment, I told him that there had been two explosions at a race – the race we watched that morning. That the explosion was something called a bomb, and it had hurt a lot of people – even killed some people. And that I was really worried for all my friends who were running in that race, and I didn’t know if they were okay.
I didn’t really think. I just reacted.
And over the next few hours, when I was on Facebook and my running board, breathing deeply with relief as all of my friends checked in and reported they were safe, I answered question after question from my son about what happened. He requested to see pictures of the bomb, and I showed him as much as I felt comfortable with.
Which, in retrospect, was too much.
At dinner last night, we focused on the helpers, like Mr. Rogers said. We talked about how amazing it was that people ran towards the smoke and pulled down the barricades to help people that were hurt. We talked about how Bear was GREAT at finding bombs and would help everyone he saw. We talked about how the police and the FBI have people who are called bomb technicians who are so smart that they know how to make sure that bombs don’t go off.
And he went to sleep just fine and slept through the night.
Charlie and I, however, did not.
It’s impossible to make sense out of something so senseless. I can’t even try.
This one hit so close to home, to my heart and soul, that I can’t breathe.
I am a runner.
And the people that were killed, injured yesterday? Were the SUPPORT for every runner out there. I wouldn’t have made it to the start of my own marathon if it weren’t for Charlie, my friends, my family.
And my son and husband could have easily been there; been part of the crowds cheering me onto the finish… been part of the chaos and terror inflicted yesterday.
They HAVE been part of my races. They were there when I ran my first half marathon; where Lucky drank my water after the finish.
They were there when I ran the Marine Corps Marathon; where, right after Charlie took his picture, Lucky stole my medal and wore it himself.
The fear, for me, is all consuming today. And I know, I KNOW, that this is the very definition of terrorism. Because, really – the term “terrorism” comes from Latin: ‘terror’, “great fear”, “dread”, related to the Latin verb terrere, “to frighten.”
The only thing that makes sense, for me, today, is to see my son and husband home, safely.
And then go for a run. A run where I can honor not only all the people in my life who have been my support system, the very foundation in my life, but also the others: the parents, the children, the brothers and sisters, the friends – everyone who was affected by yesterday’s events.
And maybe then I can start to make sense of it all.
I was not at the Boston Marathon today. Lucky and I came out of family swim time at our gym to texts and check ins, and for a few panicky moments, all I could think about were my friends running today.
They are all accounted for – and thankfully okay.
I believe that we have a choice in this life to react in fear, hate, or sadness.
Today I choose to send love out into the world to counteract the hate that seems to be present in every day, on every TV station.
Thank you all for the emails and texts.
Love to you all.