At the beginning of 2016, I set of a goal of reading 12 books – one a month. I am a big fan of reading but I don’t always have the time to read the kind of things I actually want to read. I figured one a month shouldn’t be too incredible hard. Well, here we are halfway through November and here I am on book #8. A lot has happened this year – a pregnancy, a miscarriage, a ridiculous amount of stress, tons of projects and things to get done around the house and at work… you get the idea. There were plenty of times I would’ve liked to sit down and read a book but I didn’t have the energy to keep my eyes open. I guess my reading challenge will be left unfinished…
The book I just completed is called “Dear Thing” by Julie Cohen. It’s about an infertile couple that wants nothing more than to have a baby. A friend ends up offering to be their surrogate. Although the wife is excited about becoming a mother, she’s jealous of the surrogate being able to provide what should could not. In the end, both women are desperately in love with this unborn child. Obviously, I could relate to the infertile woman but I could also relate to the surrogate – I know what it feels like to have a baby growing inside and then feeling the emptiness when it’s gone.
I love books that can conjure up emotions, I want a good story, but I want to feel something. Some people don’t like to read fiction because it’s usually all happy endings. I love what the author said “if a happy ending is hard-won, if it comes out of depth of emotion and it isn’t predictive, it’s hugely satisfying. Life is hard. I see nothing wrong in reading to feel better”. I wholeheartedly agree.
Another good read, “What Was Mine” by Helen Ross. This one is about an infertile woman who finds a baby in a shopping cart all alone. She tells herself that she’s just going to take the baby to the front of the store for help in locating the parent. Ultimately, she ends up kidnapping the baby and raising her for more than twenty years, all the while, telling herself she saved the baby from someone who just didn’t care enough.
As the years went by and our childlessness continued, I tortured myself with how many images the word “barren” could conjure: A dried-up fruit burned brown by the sun. A frozen tundra. A dust bowl or desert where nothing can grow.
I’m not torturing myself. Often times, my husband will catch me crying while I’m reading and he’s always like ‘really? it’s just a book’ but I find it to be very cathartic. It’s hard to put into words how I feel sometimes and it’s nice to be able to relate to someone, albeit a fictional character, who has had a similar experience. Just about everyone I know has been extremely supportive with everything I’ve been through this year and it’s greatly appreciated. But, they can’t make me okay. There’s nothing anyone can say or do because I have to do it myself. I have to continue to pick myself up and keep moving forward with living my life.
So, while my reading challenge goal will probably be left unfinished, the good news is that I’m not done trying and I’m not ready to give up. I’m still unfinished…