Tuesday, May 26, 2009


As always, it comes back to infertility. It shouldn't. It won't, at some point, because I will find other ways of looking at the world, but for right now, I reference everything through the same lens.

I was watching a PBS show yesterday about American war cemeteries overseas. It made me cry. Which is as it should be. One should spend some time on Memorial day thinking about those who gave their lives for us.

But it also made me feel guilty. Here I am, with so many choices open to me. OK, so I was not so lucky in love and ended up trying to conceive on my own and it didn't work. But wow, what choices are those - first not to be forced into an arranged marriage with someone I didn't even know, second to have any option outside spinsterhood or the church if marriage was not on the cards, and third to have the option to bear a child out of wedlock and not have it be a terrible sin. Wow. Then, here I am, earning my living, making my own way in the world. I own property, I have leisure time, I have a life expectancy longer than 39. I can go to school and have an education. I live in a free country. And finally, I have not been drafted off into the hellish nightmare of a war. And have not been maimed or killed. So what if my genes are not going forward into the future? Should it really matter so much? At least I am alive and free and healthy. I can still leave a legacy in the world by making at least one person's life better. It makes me think about all the hundreds of thousands, nay millions, of people whose genes also did not make it into the future, but because of war or conquest or famine or natural disasters or atrocities or even just plain old car crashes. I should wallow less, and feel grateful more. At least I'm still here.

Therefore, thank you, to the people who gave your lives so that I may have freedom. Thank you for laying down your lives so that I may live mine by making my own choices, even if those choices don't always work out. At least I am, and I was, able to try.

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