Thursday, September 9, 2010

I bought a bookshelf.

I bought a bookshelf. It is such a simple statement, and yet this bookshelf purchase has seemed really significant to me.

I'm not sure why this particular act is carrying so much symbolic meaning. My hunch is that my father-in-law's recent death has our household in an introspective space, that opens us up to see meaning beyond the surface.

So my craigslist purchase this week of a white Ik.ea bookshelf for dirt cheap, has me hopeful, and feeling like I am opening up after a long dark winter.

I researched it, measured and remeasured, spent 5 days arranging a time to go see it, figured out my husband and I's crazy schedules in order to go pick it up together, we loaded it in to the garage awaiting an opportunity to put some finishing touches on it- it has been a labor of love....

Like I said- it is silly given it is just a bookshelf. But is has our household hopeful.

The bookshelf is the perfect height, width, and measurements to fit in our guest bedroom closet. The goal has always been to make that closet as useable as possible, and this bookshelf was just perfect.

This bookshelf is part of a larger project the husband and I have been working on to organize and clean up and- here is the most significant part- to create more space in our condo....and in our life. This bookshelf feels like a significant next step to preparing that space and readying it for a child.

And that's where the tidal wave of fear starts to creep in. The fear whispers and screams at me at the same time "WHY DO YOU CONTINUE TO HOPE WHEN HOPING ONLY LEADS TO DESPAIR." And I will admit- Oh, It is scary to embrace the hopefullness. Sometimes, if I really give it thought, it seems absolutely absurd to allow myself to hope. It seems like self-inflicted punishment to prepare a room, or even think about preparing a room, for a child I have NO idea if it will ever come to be. Hoping can feel ridiculous.

And yet this damn bookshelf has my husband and I a bit on the giddy side of what it could mean. He will stop me in the middle of the garage while getting the groceries out of the car, and he will motion towards the bookshelf standing off to the side, and he will hug me and tell me how perfect it will be with cute little baskets and books for our bambino someday. And he tells me how ready we are and how badly he wants all that that bookshelf stands for.

And I can't help but hope....and it brings me to my knees humbling begging for the strength to walk with hope and not fear what is on the other side.


  1. I love anything from Ikea.

    Sorry to hear about your FIL.

  2. Hi, I found your blog a while back (maybe through Stacey?) and started following along. I think it was your post about PTSD in July that really struck a cord with me. I am sorry for not leaving a comment sooner, I haven't been a very good about that this summer. I look forward to continuing to follow along.

    I so relate to this post. Even though we are in the process of adopting, I haven't been able to buy anything yet. Every time I think about trying to, fear rears its ugly head. I so want to be hopeful and take that leap of faith. I applaud you so much for doing it. I think it takes a great deal of strength and courage. I have been thinking about this a lot lately - I don't want my fears to rule me any longer. I think we need to keep hoping!

  3. Oh, it's not silly at all. First, it's hard to even entertain the IDEA of hope sometimes. It's a whole different thing to give it legs! Buying that bookshelf was putting your hope into action. And that's a very brave thing to do. I'm glad you did it and are thinking about possibilities for the future. I sure am hoping with you and for you.

  4. Hi, I've stumbled upon your blog and have been browsing through your story.

    I am immediately struck by your beautiful spirit and your gentle but determined hope for life.

    I felt the desire to share something with you...

    Had I encountered you and your husband at say, some public forum like a restaurant, I would see you two and my heart would tug with a pinch of pain, jealousy, and yes, maybe hatred. I may notice the way he offers his hand to reach yours, or some other sweet gesture. Even something as subtle as an intimate glance and smile towards each other. I would witness this and it would sting my heart.

    And yet, beneath the surface, I would have no idea your own heartaches or desires.

    And had you seen me just two years ago, walking by, I would have had no idea that your heart would sting as you saw my swollen belly.

    You would have no idea that after over a year of trying to conceive, that the love of my life would abandoned me once I became pregnant. Leaving me alone to share with no one the bittersweetness that is now my daughter. I was lonely, left with broken dreams of a loving husband who would massage my swollen feet, make ice cream runs in the middle of the night, and help me put together a baby crib.

    I did it alone, and can very readily identify with the child in me who is throwing a tantrum. It didn't go my way! My much-wanted baby is fatherless. I didn't plan that in my book of happy-endings.

    And so we make our own happy endings. Every moment and every hour, I am learning. Each second that goes by defines the ending we choose. I love how you phrase that we must die to open ourselves up to life.

    Those tiny deaths of each passing moment opens ourselves up to the hope that creates our wildest beginnings.

    Thank you so much for your strength and your inspiration. Your words and your story has touched me today.