Yesterday was the celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He is a truly amazing man who overcame tremendous obstacles and preached about the importance of inclusion and equality. It is wonderful that a day is set aside for him in January, but even on that very day people fail to take the time to remember his message and look at how we can incorporate it further into our character. Guilty as charged, I found myself sitting at my personal pity party late in the afternoon and perusing the Internet for his quotes. I came across one that stuck more than an inspirational chord with me.
An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
To better explain, yesterday was a day of pregnancy announcements. I am for the most part genuinely happy to hear of others good fortune and even if my pain of infertility does rise up, I can usually quell it by thinking about the amazing process we are undergoing to add a child to our family. I do have a difficult time though, when I congratulate another on their good fortune and then endure an earful of complaints about the symptoms, cost of raising a child, and coordination of leave. It becomes very difficult to be happy for someone who has something you tried unsuccessfully and at great expense to achieve.
I left the conversation very angry and frustrated. It was exacerbated when I was later included in a conversation of wedding anniversaries. When I added that M. & I have been married for 6 going on 7 years and was hit with the “isn’t it about time you start popping out kids” response, my jaw dropped. I had little strength left to rattle out a snarky rebuttal, or even kindly say that were are in fact expecting. Rather, I sarcastically stated “you think so…” and excused myself from the conversation rather abruptly. I then retreated to my office and threw myself a pity party. It didn’t last long though, Dr. King’s words really spoke to me yesterday afternoon.
The past 4 1/2 years have been incredibly hard on me emotionally. I have attended many person pity parties that have lasted for months. I do not judge or regret my behavior – it the the natural and even healthy response to grief and loss. Whether it is a divorce, change of job, move, or realization, I have visited many friends in Pityville. Some stay there for a while, others visit, and some come back for a short weekend occasionally. What I realized yesterday while reading Dr. King’s words is that he was much more wise than his brave and bold actions and well crafted speeches, he had a solid grasp on perspective. On his day of commemoration, I can rise above my own personal pain and view the greater good. In the next year, a very loved child will join our family. We will rise above our personal loss and pain and they will come to us having done the same. Acoording to Dr. King, we are readly to start living.