you & me

Broken Promises: My Desire to Be a Mother.

 

No one told me this could be an outcome when they sat me down and told me of the precautions to take.

It was still entirely possible, and here I was, vying to be the oldest mother in my family.

Swapping the energies of a young twenty-something mother for the lived experiences of a woman a decade older, this was done on purpose and what I intended to offer you.

When you unceremoniously slipped away from me the first time at work, where women already have enough to conquer, I just wanted to rest up and take special care of my body. Not possible. Harsh economics necessitated my salary. And so, as the economy’s downturn lifted, I kept in work, like so many other strong women, and tried again and again and again.

My own mother distanced from me and subsequently, comfort was only derived from telephone calls, a work-stressed husband who seemed to internalize his pain, caring doctors and nurses who did their very best and treated me like gold-leaf, and conversations with other ladies who knew the exact anguish.

The last resort was an email to a Professor Siobhan Quenby in the hope she could explain through her ongoing research into recurrent miscarriages.

Parallel to the overwhelming pain I was going through, an awakening thought told me to enrich my life and do more things for myself. I used this as a distraction to what I so desperately wanted to achieve, and joyfully learnt to paint canvases. Not knowing then that these little inroads would, ultimately, be my salvation.

That sheer excitement when the pregnancy test had tested positive and I had shouted to your dad, “You hit the jackpot!” Calculating your birth dates, assuming strong, bold names for you and mapping out a changed future for us all. It was a promise, and a delightful one. I would not waver from my newfound duty. My desire to be your mother, teacher, and be there for you for as long as I could, was immense.

I had not imagined that my body would break this seal of trust that you and I already had. But it did.

In the end, there was no explanation to my short-lived hopes. Only the knowledge that I would have a lot of free time on this earth and a strong maternal will to make my four broken promises proud. This was the feeling I had always wanted to instill in my offspring. Just like my own mother inspires in me. Never trading in what she was given but working on what she can awesomely create.

To this day, your memory cannot be erased. It catches me. How old would you be? The IT skills you surely would have passed on to me! How would you have loved your maternal grandparents? My father giving you a literacy of nature, so you could reel of tree names and wild plants. And what would your curious, little minds have taught me?

And, obviously, the fun we would have had together — building sheeted hideaways indoors and other make-believe games.

But romanticizing is unsatisfactory.

“Shame!” that practice nurse uttered when I quietly told her I had no dependents. No elaboration. That would have been too insensitive. Is it enough being handed the accolade from my own mum, “You would have been a good mother?” Does my brave face crack and healed soul break again, occasionally, when seeing others’ baby joy?

Your father could not be with me after it all. And although I am not living by proxy and I am quite content with my life, the future that lies ahead of me is unconventional and will take a certain degree of careful planning.

But more than anything, I will not waste my maternal love on this planet. Let me alchemize your loss and flourish in a gainful way. Enjoying family relationships, friendships and using my talents for the better good. You would have been loved by many, and before I meet your spirit again, let me love those in this lifetime and honor myself.

***

Since joining a writing group at work at a London University, Keri France has become more productive. She now has 20 published articles and a short story to her credit. Currently working on various projects. Keri surrounds herself with real, creative people, and is fascinated by people who surprise and choose what they want to be.

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