February 13, 2011 –
On February 14, it will be twenty nine years since I lost my first pregnancy, already into my second trimester. My husband and I grieved in the days and months that followed, but the pain of that loss has never truly diminished, possibly because it occurred on Valentine’s Day, but more likely because our bubble of joy was literally shattered so suddenly.
Motherhood did eventually arrive, and with the birth of each of my three children, our lives morphed into the exclusive bubble that only close-knit families know so well. They are all young adults now, each one making us incredibly proud as they’ve taken flight, and pursued fulfilling lives of their own.
On the eve of this Valentine’s Day, however, my heart is in anguish. Medical diagnosis is days away, and pointers are prominently staring at a disease I am all too familiar with. It’s nasty, and it rears its ugly head with the freedom to flare at will, knowing there are no weapons of medical science to battle against it.
Victims are left defenseless. There are few options to alleviate symptoms, and none can stop the advancement of the charge.
I’ve had a ringside seat as this disease nearly claimed my brothers’ life on several occasions. I grew up in the shadows of its wrath, and experienced the wake of its effect throughout my childhood. Diagnosed at a young age, my brother has seen the precipice, yet found the inner will to somehow keep battling, time and time again.
Now, as I await confirmation of the same diagnosis for my son, the overwhelming ache I feel is deep within my heart. As I struggle to keep control of my emotions, I look within myself.
I pray for the strength of motherhood. As a cancer survivor, I know I can square off with whatever health challenges come my way.
As a mother, I want to turn back the clock. I want to take that disease by the throat and scream “NOT my child!”
On the eve of this Valentine’s Day, the precious life I lost so many years ago weighs heavily on my mind. It’s a cruel reality that the precious life I gave birth to is not protected by my love.
All these years…I’ve clearly overestimated. Love can protect a heart, but it cannot protect a life.
On the eve of this Valentine’s Day, reflect on the love that carries you through the darkest of days, and brings you joys in the little moments that most would take for granted.
Reflect on the blessings of good health, and the lessons learned from challenges that shook your world.
On this Valentine’s Day, ‘cherish’ is the word.
‘Cherish is the word
I use to describe
all the feeling that I have
hiding here for you inside’
You didn’t mention what the disease is. I’m a biologist and am guessing (from your brother and son) that it’s an X-linked recessive trait. I’m so sorry to hear about that. I am glad to know that you were able to have three thriving children.
You should also know that miscarriage (“spontaneous abortion”) is VERY common. It occurs in about a third to half of all pregnancies. Usually it occurs in the first month or two, and is not so hard on the mother when it occurs early. Just believe that you have the children you are supposed to have.
Thank you for your thoughtful comment. I am already very interested in exploring more of your blog as well, and having just had a quick peek, I already know I’ll be a fan. Although I always understood how common miscarriages really are, I must admit I was not expecting one after the first trimester. Because I didn’t want to jinx anything (silly, I know), I anxiously awaited for that trimester to be over so I could finally announce my pregnancy to my colleagues at work. I was so delighted to finally be able to share the exciting news, only to experience the miscarriage 2 days later, which was Valentine’s Day. Life just has a way of throwing curve balls, but I am so very blessed to have had 3 wonderful children who have gone on to also become 3 wonderful individuals. Sending all good wishes to you…and, write on!