Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Rocker

When I was a little girl, I had a rocking chair. Okay, that’s not true—as my older sister would quickly remind me. She had a rocker. But the one you could find in that chair most of the time, rocking away, alive in her imagination, was me. It’s the place where I dreamed up my best ideas—stories, projects, artwork, schemes, experiments, and contraptions. The day my dad told me I was too big to sit in that rocker anymore was not my best day. (I had to be told a few more times after that…) And in the years that followed, I never felt quite the same.

In the fall of 2010, my husband and I decided to start a family. With this news, my sister and her husband—their children no longer small—passed on to me their glider/rocker (mommy chair). Equipped with a rocking footstool, I had sat in many of these in recent years, hoping that someday I might be lucky enough to have earned one of my own. Now my dream had come true.

Then I lost the pregnancy.

And another.

And another.

By that time, I was quite ill. In fact, instead of getting to start a family, my husband and I learned that I had Graves’ Disease. Months of treatment—including radiation—followed, creating some of the worst months of my life.

For the most part, I think I have done a good job of putting thoughts of a family aside. We can’t even begin to try again for at least six months (some recommend 12), and so I feel there’s little need to dwell on it now.

But here’s what I find interesting. Over the past few months, that mommy glider has come to mean something different in my life. It’s the place of comfort I go to create my stories and do my best writing. It’s where my characters are invented and their worlds unfold. It’s the place where I am happiest.

And it reminds me of a little girl I used to know, who used to sit and rock for hours, dreaming of what she’d create next.

Somehow, despite all I’ve lost, I feel more whole.