File this under random musings, infertility and otherwise.
Well, after writing about feeling pretty hopeless last week, I have entered another two week wait (for those not in the know - the time frame between ovulation and either a positive pregnancy test or your period) filled with hope. Oh, not particularly hopeful for this cycle. We've been at this long enough to know the likelihood of us being one of those few random infertiles who magically gets pregnant on our own is unlikely. But I'm just generally hopeful for the future outcome of this not-so-fun adventure.
One of the reasons I'm feeling particularly hopeful this week is because we're going on vacation next week to Belgium and Amsterdam. I've never been. I am going to eat all of the waffles. And all of the frites. There won't be any left for the people of Belgium. And spending the latter part of a two week wait in a foreign country is a pretty great way to take one's mind off of possible outcomes.
And yet another reason to feel good - the old man turned 78 two days ago. If you had asked me four years ago if Dad would make it to his 78th birthday, I would have said no way. And I sadly don't have a crystal ball to tell me if he will see his 79th. But I'm hopeful he will and in the mean time, we try to make every birthday we get as fun as possible. Jeeves and I went out to Jersey to visit him and take him out to dinner. We went to Savini, which is an Italian restaurant that we really like out there. Here is how good the service is - I did not tell them when I made the reservation that it was Dad's birthday. I did not mention it to the waiter. But when dessert came out, there was a candle and they sang happy birthday. They had overheard us wish Dad a happy birthday when we toasted, and they made a note of it. Amazing. And Dad declared it the best birthday yet. I think that's hyperbole, but I'm glad he had fun.
Today, on the other hand, would have been my mother's 75th birthday. As mentioned about a billion times on here, I miss her very much, and even more since the infertility business started. Still, even though I wish she were here for her birthday, it doesn't feel like a sad day to me (Mother's Day and the anniversary of her death are still tough). It seems I can look at it two ways - I can look at my mother's birthday as a sad day because she is not here with me to celebrate it, or I can look at it as a sweeter day. The day my mother was born 75 years ago, how my sister and I wouldn't be here if not for her, and how I would not be the person I am now without her love and guidance. When Mom died, we got so many wonderful cards from her co-workers and clients (she was a social worker at a place that served as a food pantry, and provided rent and utility assistance) telling us about the impact she had on their lives. But the card I remember best wasn't even from that - it was from the year before she died. It was a Christmas card from a co-worker that said "Merry Christmas to the woman who embodies the Christmas spirit year round." I am focusing on that woman today, and how I can and should be more like her, and how even though it's sad she's gone, I had almost 28 years with her. What luck, to have her as my mother. John Green writes in The Fault in Our Stars, "There are two ways to tell a sad story and we made the funny choice." At least for now, filled with all this hope, I am choosing the funny version.
And even though Elmore Leonard, whom I adored, would not approve of how verbose I am being here, I am sad he is gone. I've thought a lot about him this past week. Although he was 87, and that is a good long life, he was putting it out there, honing his craft right up to the end. Something to strive for. If you haven't read his work before, I think Fire in the Hole: Stories is a great starting place. And it's only fitting that I leave you with his legendary rules on writing, "Easy on the Adverbs, Exclamation Points, and Especially Hooptedoodle." I promise I'll go easy on the hooptedoodle from now on.