Ever since my illness a few weeks ago, when I was house-bound because I was literally too sick to go out, I’ve been obsessing over something that never bothered me before: I don’t have a family of my own.
Don’t misunderstand me. I have siblings, my mother, and friends — all of whom give me support when I need it. But I never married and I never had children. Now one of those doors is closed forever.
I might still marry. One of my grandmother’s sisters got married a few years ago. Seventy eight years old and marrying her third husband. So I guess time never actually runs out on you. But I’m never going to have kids of my own.
I didn’t write very much about this last year, or in the year leading up to it, but one of the major things that happened was that I had a hysterectomy. It was the month before my 41st birthday. It was not a surprise, we scheduled it months in advance and I knew it was coming for almost a year before the actual surgery.
This is not a post about the surgery, but about what the surgery means: that door is closed.
When I told my mother that I was going to have a hysterectomy, her first reaction was to tell me that I was too young. She never mentioned children, or my lack thereof and I’m grateful for that. Everybody else did. They still do — random nurses, friends of friends, people I meet who find out for whatever reasons — they all have the same reaction.
I never saw myself as a mother. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you know that my family commitments mean that I feel like I’ve raised my family. I didn’t yearn for motherhood the way many of my friends did and still do. I didn’t mourn the children I never had.
But I’m getting older. And I’m alone. As my health deteriorates, as I spend more time trying to medicate myself into wellness, I do wonder who will help me when I need it.
Even if I had had children, there was never any guarantee that they would have taken care of me when I got sick, or old. But there was still a chance.
And I know, absolutely know, that that’s an avenue that’s not available to me. My nieces and nephews may love me, but they aren’t mine.
So I’ve been obsessing a little bit over the children I never had and wondering about the path not taken. And hoping that tomorrow stays away for a little bit longer.
***** Written on my ipad. I promise to proof and edit it later (maybe). ******