Sunday, August 12, 2012

Holding on to Hope

A few months ago, I received a catalog in the mail from a popular clothing company.  Splashed among the first few pages, I found an array of photos showing off their new line of pretty summer dresses. And I suddenly realized that it's been 12 years since I wore a dress.  Such a simple thing, and yet, as silly as it may sound, the thought nearly brought a tear to my eye.  

While I do miss wearing something so bright and feminine, it was what the dresses represented that evoked in me such longing:  the promise of warmer weather ahead, of being outdoors, experiencing adventure, attending social gatherings, taking leisurely strolls and feeling soft breezes or hot sun on your skin. I want to be out in the world, free of all barriers, living life. 

As I continued to flip through the catalog, I saw photos of women modeling various styles of bathing suits as they walked along the shore or lounged in a beach chair to soak up the sun.  And I thought about how it’s been 15 years since I’ve seen the sea.  It’s been 15 years since I smelled salty ocean air or felt hot, sunburned sand on my feet.  To me, there are few things more stunning to behold than a sea-side sunset, nor more soothing to the mind than the sound of ocean waves as they reach for the shore.  

But it was what I saw next that produced in me the most longing.   Further into the catalog, there was a photo of a couple holding the hand of a child in an obvious attempt to portray a family.  And it is that -- a family of my own-- for which I've yearned most in life.  It is a desire so profound that it feels as though it is an integral part of who I am.

And yet, I am reminded that I just recently turned 40.  I turned 40 before I ever had the chance to be 30.  I was young when I got sick.  I am now middle-aged.

As this milestone birthday has come and gone, I realize I may soon need to begin slowly letting go of some of my dreams.  Because no matter how desperately I want it, I am now at an age where I am getting too old to still be considering a future that includes children of my own.

The problem is that I'm not ready to let go. Not yet.  I still want that family.  I still want that leisurely stroll along the beach in my pretty new summer dress.

 For now, I wait. I continue my search for answers. I persevere. And I hold on to hope.

Photo courtesy of
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