Archive for December, 2012
Recently my wife and I went to see two separate movies because she just couldn’t bring herself to see the Hobbit with me. She diverted to the left, off to see Les Miserables and I entered into middle earth just around to the right. I came out of the movie groggy from all the well-spent adrenaline caused by flying wizards, ferocious goblins, and all other sights and smells in this alternative reality. My wife came out sobbing as they say in Spanish, “una lagrima viva” (uncontrollably, nonstop).
I should have known. Les Misérables takes place in the filth and rotting stench of the French Revolution. Female characters and innocent orphans are trampled by authoritative and graceless higher classes. The story provides subtle shades of grace and redemption, but in large measure, I’m pretty sure you want to vomit from such degradation.
My wife shared that one scene in particular nailed her between the eyes because it summarizes her own experience in Spain. Anne Hathaway’s character Fantine sings I Dreamed a Dream with incredible passion. We have bought the song, and I must say that she stays on key in the midst utter despair. We shouldn’t really compare ourselves with her character because she experiences unfathomable evil. Of course our lives aren’t that bad. However, we still enjoy electing this song as a “summary song” for 2012, a year in which we lost all hope of having biological children. We were especially struck by the last line that she utters in a whisper: “Life has killed the dream I dream.” So true.
To all you men suffering through your wife’s hard ache–may your 2013 be much brighter than our 2012. I pray you never receive the news we received this year. Life has definitely killed the dream my wife dreamed.
Sometimes sound advice for facing infertility is hard to come by. For example, from time to time I have read sections from the Bible looking for a little help, begging God to speak to my heart or animate my spirit with respect to infertility. Many times I feel like God leaves me hanging out to dry. On other occasions, well meaning family members, friends, and acquaintances throw some platitude in my face to try and cheer me up or distract me from the infertility reality. You can probably guess how well that goes over. If I hear one more person just tell me that “it’s nothing really,” and that “we should adopt and move on,” I think I will channel my inner Mike Tyson.
Well meaning or not, these slaps on the back and all the artificial raw-raw garbage haven’t done jack for us.
However, upon occasion, we are surprised by a piece of advice, a comment being passed on facebook, or even quotes from unexpected sources, that have helped encourage our hearts. I even feel like God is behind them.
The most recent example came from NFL quarterback Tom Brady. Yes, that’s right, pretty boy Brady. This is hard for me to admit, because I’m a pretty loyal Bears fan. After a defeat this season, one of the opposing players got in his face to taunt him rather needlessly before the players left the field. A few hours later, Brady was quoted in an interview as saying, “I’ve learned a long time ago not to worry about that which is outside of my control. It only complicates my life.”
For whatever reason, I have been able to take that quote and apply it to processing infertility. There are so many days where we could occupy hours and hours of our time fretting over fertility possibilities, and it would all be a complete waste of time. In fact, catch me on any given day about three years ago, and I probably would have been spending half my day worrying over things outside of my control. Thankfully, Tom Brady (and I really believe God) has helped me relax a bit.
My wife and I are constantly surprised by those that actually encourage us along our journey.