Behind my grandmother’s house, you’ll find acres of wooded land. While walking through after a recent storm, I saw a large tree uprooted and splintered on the ground.
I didn’t spend time counting the rings on that tree, but it is safe to say its years outnumbered mine.
It had weathered thousands of storms. Gallons of rain. Straight line winds and tornados.
But a seemingly innocuous storm toppled it.
Why this time? What was it about that wind and rain that was too much to bear when it had withstood so many years of nature’s abuse?
And I wonder the same for myself as we fight yet another battle on our path to being parents.
Is this the time that will break us?
Will this heartbreak be the one that sends us to our knees and not allow us to get back up? We weathered the death of our daughter, and we’re still standing.
But how many harsh winds can we withstand? Will the questions of “why” take us down? Why us? Why our babies? Why can’t we find true joy again?
Why can’t we ever get the rainbow after the storm?
I often find myself wondering if there’s a finite number of times your heart can be broken before you’re unable to scrape together enough pieces to allow it to function.
Is opening yourself up to possibility only to be repeatedly disappointed an endless game? Or do you eventually toss the game pieces in the air and call it a day?
How angry can you be with the world and the unfairness of it all before you lose it?
Are you always able to find the strength to get up after sobbing again? Or do you eventually stay on the floor?
And I wonder how many times a phone call can completely wreck you before you stop answering.
With each new path we’ve taken, I’ve known there were risks. I’ve always known that we may not have the happy ending everyone envisioned for us, but I’ve always tried to cling to hope.
However, repeated frustration, disappointment, pain, and failure can be crushing. I don’t think you can ever adequately prepare yourself for the despair of hope being snatched away again.
I’ve been bending for years: swaying in the winds that stole my father from me at a young age, that ripped my daughter away from me, that ended our dreams of a biological child, and that are seriously messing with the adoption process.
So what’s the breaking point?
Which heartache will break my spirit and hope and leave me lying broken on the ground like that tree that had also withstood so much?
Photo by Stephen Arnold on Unsplash