Monday, October 11, 2010

Thanksgiving

Little grateful owl


Today is Thanksgiving in Canada. It's usually a time when Mr. August and I travel to visit with relatives, but I'm ever so thankful that this year we did not. We stayed put in our lovely little town. Mr. August has been harvesting like a mad farmer all weekend , putting in days of 15-16 hours (I picked him up from the farm at 11pm last night). He has to get his soybeans harvested and this weekend was the time to do it. It was sunny, warm and there was no rain in the forecast.

I was thankful to stay put and spend time with dear friends. Family relationships are difficult for me, so I spend very little time with my relatives. I have to go to my home province next weekend for a family event, so you will surely hear more about my apprehension this week right here on this blog. (I don't like it when I get too cranky on here, but I may need to let out some crankiness this week. Just warning you).

Today, I wanted to focus on gratitude. I just spent an hour journaling about all that I am grateful for and filled pages and pages in my journal. It's amazing what happens when we stop and look at what we have. I try to do that on a daily basis, but frankly, I don't always succeed. I find it so easy to fall into the trap of focusing on what I don't have. Sometimes it is necessary and useful to be full of discontent. It helps us move forward and change. And sometimes, looking at what's not wrong is where it's at.

Many of the pages of my journal were filled with gratitude for my friends. So many have been extraordinarily supportive to me this year, as the failure of our infertility treatments sent its aftershocks through my little heart. I feel indebted to them.

I wanted to share with you an email I received on October 1, the one-year anniversary of the failure of our treatments. My friend Oat sent it to me and it moved me so much that I want to share it with you. She gave me her consent to post it on here. I received a an email on that day from Dragonfly and another friend, which were also very touching, but I don't have their permission to publish so I will hold off for now.

Here's Oat's email:

"Hello dear, dear friend Augusta,
Just a quick note to say that I am thinking of you, as always, but especially right now as October begins.  It sounds like this was a very big week, with yesterday being an especially big day. How was the anniversary of getting The News? I want you to know that am holding your beautiful heart in mine, surrounding it with love, and believing with faith and sureness that the child you, Mr. August, and Sattva WILL bring into the world will be deeply suffused with August-ness. Anyone who knows and loves you and who is a lucky recipient of YOUR big love carries you with them, Augusta. I know it hurts beyond what I can imagine  that the child will not have genetic August-ness, and I do not want to diminish that pain AT ALL, and I hope you know I am not, but it feels especially important to me at this moment to tell you how deeply I believe that your child will be thoroughly and utterly yours and thoroughly and utterly full of all that you are -- down to the deepest levels of being. The love you bring into this world and give to your friends and family is incredibly strong, and it changes those who receive it -- I know, I have felt it for 15 years now and it has changed my life immeasurably. Your child will be basking in that love, just soaking it in, from the moment he or she enters your life (I think the little being already is, in fact), and will be simply saturated with all the wonderful peace, courage, wisdom, joy, security, and inspiration that being loved by Augusta provides. I just want you to know how deeply I believe that."

 I think that in contrast to all the people who just don't get what we're going through and speak to us in hurtful and insensitive ways, it feels so good to know there are people like Oat who get it. That's mainly why I wanted to share it with you.

The last gratitude I want to mention before closing is a big one. It goes out to you, amazing women.  I feel like I've gained so much strength from reading your stories or hope, despair, and ultimately, of great resilience. Because of our community, I feel like I have been able to put my loss into perspective. I've been able to see that my tragedy is one among many, a drop of BP oil in the Gulf (see previous post). I'm more able to see it for what it is; something heartbreaking, something that changed how I see myself, but also something that would not keep me stuck forever. I'm not alone in this silent, disenfranchised pain anymore. You are all out there living your lives every day of the week; tending to your careers, pets, loved ones; going through innumerable fertility procedures; and just like me, cupping your dreams in your shaking hands each time you show up to an RE's appointment and saying 'here, can you please help us have a baby?' I feel less alone and I feel like life will not stop for me. We all keep going. Some of you are pregnant.  One of you has just two days ago welcomed a child home through adoption. And some of us are still struggling to find our children. But we will find them. Somehow. We will. 

In the mean time, I count my blessings. You are my blessings and I am running out of fingers.

Happy Thanksgiving (even if I'm about 6 weeks early for my American friends).

12 comments:

  1. Petit hibou de mon cœur. First of all, please feel absolutely free to be as cranky as you like with us, about your family or anything else. We want to know you, and having a sense of what you're truly living--the pretty and the not-so-pretty--is what makes that possible. Second, thank you for sharing that letter. What a blessing Oat is, and you to Oat as well. It's lovely to hear that what little I know of you is simply a microcosm of the full Augusta picture; who I feel you are is who your longer-term friends know you to be. Third, you write and express so beautifully; your gratitude is contagious. Take care, sweet one.

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  2. Awe...such a beautiful post! And wowza!! That's quite the friend you have?! I mean she has never suffered from IF before? She has incredible empathy. Happy Thanksgiving to you as well. Oh and hope the rest of your harvest goes well also - being from SK, I completely understand the stresses of harvest and the long hours our farmers put in. Good luck to you.

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  3. Wow, that was such an incredibly beautiful post and that letter from your friend...I just cried reading it, so heartfelt and filled with love. I would have to say in what little time I've "known" you I can see how Oat values your friendship because in this little time since you started following my blog & I yours I've felt so embraced. With every step along this path you've been there encouraging & supporting me on this journey. I hope that you feel that same love reflected back to you because my friend you deeply deserve it. What a beautiful person you are and as Oat so eloquently put it you make all of our lives better by being a part of our world. Thank you for that...((hugs))

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  4. Augusta. You fill my heart with such happiness. You are such a beautiful and amazing person and I am sure you will continue to touch many hearts, as you have mine. When your chid arrives, he or she will be the luckiest babe in town to have you as a momma.

    The email you shared from Oat was also so wonderful, what a beautiful person she is. I am so glad you can have a friend like that in your life.

    You have a beautiful way of expressing yourself on your blog, and I am always so touched by your words.

    We do have much to be grateful for. And I for one, am grateful for you.

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  5. Oh my gawd, what an amazing post. I've gone through several tissues... Particularly that image of all of us with dreams in our hands, asking someone to make them come true. It's so accurate--beyond all the clinical coldness and the endless information and procedures and waiting and stress, that's what it comes down to. I feel awfully humbled by your beautiful expression of gratitude.

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  6. What a lovely post. Made me bawl my eyes out, in a good way :) Thank you for supporting me with your kind words. I am going home for Thanksgiving in a few weeks and I have some apprehension as well so I welcome hearing about your crankiness.

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  7. Happy Thanksgiving! You have a great perspective on things, and I'm sure that you are surrounded by beautiful, supportive people because you are just the same. And even if you get cranky because of your family trip, you will still be beautiful!

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  8. What a great post, and a great letter from your friend. Being thankful is so important.

    And happy belated Canadian Thanksgiving! :P

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  9. This is a lovely post, Augusta. It made me thankful just to read it, to have contact with someone who sees the world in this way. Oat is right. Lucky, lucky child the one who will be yours. And he/she really will be yours.

    It’s so easy to get caught up in what we don’t have, as you say. In what we yearn for and the unfairness of being repeatedly thwarted. But there’s a lot to feel grateful for: the lives we’ve built for ourselves, our partners, the fact that there is food on our tables and that we live in a time and age where, as women, we have rights.

    As for the upcoming visit: Let the inner crank flourish! I think that it’s sometimes important for sanity: )

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  10. What an absolutely beautiful post, Augusta! Tears in my eyes and much love to you. -A

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  11. Oh Augusta you are so right, we DO have a lot to be grateful for. Sometimes we just need to open our eyes and make ourselves focus on the good things for a while as they can so easily be clouded by the bad stuff.

    Your friend Oat's letter is lovely. I can see why you'd want to share that letter as it really did make me look at my own life and made me a little bit more grateful for those that have to live around me. They are patient and lovely and I do not always thank them for that.

    Take care, x

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  12. Augusta, your grace amazes and instructs me.

    I am sorry for your anniversary of the fight. I am delighted to see you sitting at the door of success and family.

    I love your style.

    ps - Is there any chance Oat is looking for new friends... pen pals... anything? I can get a resume to her by the end of the week. Tell her I love her and she is lucky to have you too.

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