Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Purpose Driven Life

Irene, Matthew, Violet, Elizabeth Christams '05

What is the purpose? I've been asking myself this question a lot the past few weeks. What is the purpose for my depression? It was and is so huge. I lost such a large piece of time to it. Now that I am healing and learning, there must be a reason for it. I do not believe that I went through all that despair and anxiety to come out on the other end and do nothing with the knowledge. I believe there is a purpose.

Sometimes we learn the purpose for something immediately, other times it takes years to see it. Whenever I start to doubt that there is a purpose I think back to when I had my first miscarriage. 

We kind of planned for that baby, in that we did nothing to prevent him or her from being created. So when I didn't feel well and took a pregnancy test, we weren't exactly shocked at the positive result. Violet was nine months old and we were ecstatic about having another baby. We quickly told the world. 

My friend, Jill, came over to watch Violet while I went for my ultra sound appointment, alone. We wouldn't be hearing a heartbeat or anything like that during the ultrasound, (it was too early) so I insisted my husband go to work. 

I'm not going to get into the details of the appointment in this post.

Although there was a sac, there wasn't a baby. To say I came unglued would be an understatement. I only remember crying and shaking, and people staring at me. They escorted me out a back door so I didn't pass back through the waiting room full of pregnant moms. Because I was no longer pregnant.

My husband came and got me, took me home. Then he and Jill went back to get my car. On the way back to our house he called his mom. We needed her to come help us watch Violet when I went back to the hospital for the procedure.

My mother in law is an incredible woman. I simply adore her. She is probably the most organized person I've ever met. She's practical, well planned and scheduled. She's kind and quietly loving, gentle and thoughtful.

My husband called her at 11 o'clock, told her what had happened and could she help? I expected her around 7 o'clock. She was at work, lives an hour and half from us, needed to finish the day, get home, pack, fix my father in law dinner and drive here.

So at 2 o'clock I was a bit surprised when I heard a noise, looked up and saw my mother in law rushing at me with open arms. She wrapped me in a huge hug and held me while I sobbed. I'd been on the phone with my mom, but it wasn't the same, you know? I needed to be touched. To feel. To connect. And there Irene was, just holding me, letting me sob and snot all over her.

For the next three days Irene stayed with us, cooking for us, taking Violet when I was short tempered or the sadness welled up inside me and even my baby couldn't soothe it.

We sat and had pots of tea in pretty cups, talked about marriage and babies and love and sorrow and cried. I'd known her for just about three years at that point, but during those three days I actually got to know her. I got to know the woman that is my husbands mother. The woman that carried him in her belly. That felt him move for the first time and felt joy in it. Loved him first. Held all his hopes and dreams in her heart. I never knew this woman. But in that time of great sorrow came a great knowledge. And I've taken that knowledge with me.

It's no secret that the past few years have been difficult, to say the least. When I have been humiliated and horrified by what I have had to ask of my family, Irene has always shown up at my door. When I flinch away I am reminded of this time, this time when we sat and cried over that first lost babe and I really got to love her. And for that, I am thankful. That is the purpose.