This I Believe
I believe in love. Not that sugary sweet, he-looked-at-me-and-I-swooned love, but love that is always turned on like a furnace in winter. Love that blows warmth when you need it, but is ready to even when you don’t. I also believe in the road on which you find love, no matter how long it is.
Love is why my husband drove 50 miles at dawn to the only clinic in the state open on a Saturday to provide sperm for the “turkey-baster,” which was inserted into me as my egg was released. Love helped us through my D&C. Love kept us sane after rushing to the hospital thinking I had appendicitis only to learn that I had a growth on my ovary. Love helped us endure discussions of what to do if I had cancer, and love helped him wait through the surgery that proved that it was not cancer, but endometriosis. Love is why my husband holds me close and tells me how wonderful I am despite the fact that I can’t get pregnant.
But it wasn’t always like that.
Back when I was 9, my sister was born. I played with her and fed her and rocked her to sleep. I wanted a baby of my own. At 28, I married my husband, who didn’t want children. And that was OK. I wasn’t ready for children. But I still dreamed sometimes that I jumped in front of a bus to push my sister clear and save her life.
My husband and I disagreed about where to hang pictures and what time to wake up in the morning. He would remind me to close the cracker box, and I was wounded. He had no idea because I never said anything. If he loved me, he would know how I felt.
When I was 36 and we had still not agreed about children, I had a meltdown. I took long showers on Saturday afternoons and cried. I argued with my husband. He was happy with the way life was. Why should he upset the balance by having a child? He had a point, but if he truly loved me, he would see mine.
After I came home from a long business trip, we sat in the office catching up with e-mail, our family of computers humming in the background. Suddenly, my husband said, “Let’s do it.” I was 38 and I finally sensed how much he loved me. When I got pregnant we were equally joyful. And when we were told that the pregnancy was over, we were equally devastated.
Now that I’m 43, I asked my husband if he would consider adoption. He didn’t even pause. “Yes,” he said.
I believe in love, love between equals, love that is always ready to blow warmth when needed. And I believe in a long, slow journey to find it.
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