Restored from lost archive. Original post: October 27, 2003.
Mother. Now there's a loaded word. HCG, BBT, IVF, GIFT — acronyms of infertility, an arcane language of hope and disappointment.
Eleven years ago, dark drops of loss signaled an end to the campaign. My grief was formidable; frenzied physical labor my way through the pain.
Cleaning out the old detached frame garage of my ill mother-in-law's about to be sold house, I approached a heavy, homemade work table. Octagon shaped, its surface was an avalanche come to rest of ancient window casings, screen doors, metal and a small mountain of irregular wood pieces. Feeling strength and determination that I failed to identify as anger, I began pushing and tugging on the heavy pieces, throwing them from the table carelessly, with no regard for bruises, cuts or splinters. The storm subsided. I stood there panting and sweating, a dull ache beginning to move from my neck downward. I thought, "Where did that frenzy come from?"
My loving husband ministered to my battered feelings as only he is able. I consumed my hurt in caring for my dear mother-in-law, Lois, after a cruel stroke stole her ability to live independently. In the process, I finally learned how to be a true daughter.
Through the mysterious alchemy of love, by the time Lois died that June afternoon eight years ago, she had become my own little girl and I had, at last, become a mother.