A few months ago, I received a catalog in the mail from a popular
clothing company. Splashed among the first few pages, I found an array
of photos showing off their new line of pretty summer dresses. And I
suddenly realized that it's been 12 years since I wore a dress. Such a
simple thing, and yet, as silly as it may sound, the thought nearly
brought a tear to my eye.
While I do miss wearing something so bright
and feminine, it was what the dresses represented that evoked in me such
longing: the promise of warmer weather ahead, of being
outdoors, experiencing adventure, attending social gatherings, taking leisurely strolls and feeling soft breezes or hot sun on your skin. I want to be out in the world, free of
all barriers, living life.
As I continued to flip through the catalog, I saw photos of women
modeling various styles of bathing suits as they walked along the shore
or lounged in a beach chair to soak up the sun. And I thought about how
it’s been 15 years since I’ve seen the sea. It’s been 15 years since I
smelled salty ocean air or felt hot, sunburned sand on my feet. To me,
there are few things more stunning to behold than a sea-side sunset,
nor more soothing to the mind than the sound of ocean waves as they reach for the shore.
But it was what I saw next that produced in me the most longing.
Further into the catalog, there was a photo of a couple holding the hand
of a child in an obvious attempt to portray a family. And it is that
-- a family of my own-- for which I've yearned most in life. It is a
desire so profound that it feels as though it is an integral part of who I am.
And yet, I am reminded that I just recently turned 40. I turned 40
before I ever had the chance to be 30. I was young when I got sick. I
am now middle-aged.
As this milestone birthday has come and gone, I realize I may soon
need to begin slowly letting go of some of my dreams. Because no matter how desperately I want it, I am now at an age where I am getting too old to still be considering a future that includes children of my own.
problem is that I'm not ready to let go. Not yet. I still want that
family. I still want that leisurely stroll along the beach in
my pretty, new, summer dress.
For now, I wait. I continue my search for answers. I perservere. And I hold on to hope.
Photo courtesy of gettyimages.com
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