Title : Old and wise
First line: As far as my eyes can see
I stare at an old photograph, taken in 1991, of my father and me. It was taken in my husband’s and my first garden, actually our only functioning garden, ripe with carrots and beans and peas and three types of tomatoes and corn that the raccoons ate. My arm was around my father’s neck, my dad and I are grinning. We both looked incredibly happy, his eyes: grey-blue, old and wise, saying without words ” I knew one day you would have your dream.” I am 6 months pregnant in the photograph; it had taken me over 2 and a half years to get pregnant. During that time, I shed more tears than I thought possible. In that photograph, in the late afternoon sunshine, with my dad, both of us were beaming.
During the long phase of infertility however, I was poked and prodded and put through every invasive test known to woman-kind by my doctor and everything was done in complete secrecy. I was ashamed, it was all my fault.
Only many years later did magazines burst into publication with articles describing the shots we had to take, the mood swings, the twice daily blood tests and ultra-sounds, the stress and depression we felt. Back when I was desperately trying to get pregnant, we kept our feelings to ourselves. Sometimes we shared our lives with the other people in the infertility office, a very strange, yet delicate friendship. You wanted your friends to get pregnant but not at your own expense. It was a double-edged sword. Close but not too close.
The photograph before me, which stands framed on my table now, represents both the good and bad; ultimate happiness and deep depression. I was pregnant and standing next to one of my favorite people, my dad. Sadly, he died when both my children were young but at least he knew they were born. No one could replace him for me, no one could have felt more dramatically upset than my mom and I. He was my mother’s husband, but for me, he was my hero. He knew me better than anyone. We had the same personality, my sister and my mother still do. Without our spouses and kids, our nuclear family consisted of three; our mother, my sister and myself; a triangle is a tough combination. I can’t understand how they think.
I’ve had to fight on my own, grow-up, remain firm and I have done that; it’s hard for me to even remember what it was like having someone who understood me so well, having an ally in the family. I look up at the clouds sometimes, I look as far as my eyes can see and beyond that, for a sign from heaven, from my dad. I am one of those people who definitely believes in those signs, that bodies die but souls don’t; that love NEVER dies. How could it? I know my dad still loves me as I love him. When he first died I got many, many signals and messages. As time passed, I got fewer. But I know, if I truly needed him, he would, without a doubt, send me a sign to show me that he is still watching over me and that love is everlasting.