10/24/2013 9:25 AM
By Stephie Goldfish
I have only been in love once. And, I know the person I fell in love with loved me as much and as deep.
Our love felt a lot like the love depicted between the two characters in the 1970 movie, “Love Story.”
The heart is so treacherous, it can make one believe that a devoted love and endearment like this for one another is obsolete, almost unattainable, and hard to keep alive. The mind can begin to question why this love should survive, anyway. The mind can begin reasoning irrational and delusional things that make one go crazy and feel hopelessly sad.
After my two ectopic pregnancies, there was no hope of ever becoming pregnant again, let alone taking the 50/50 chance to carry a birth to full-term and both me and the baby surviving.
Making love became almost unbearable from that moment on. I was constantly reminded of my inability to provide for him the one thing that he had asked of me, to have just one child together. It was the most painful time of my life, as it was for him.
We thought of surrogacy, and, after we were married, we went to see an in vitro specialist, but it was too complicated due to my complicated CHD.
Surrogacy was mentioned, but as we both reasoned—wouldn't my sister, who would have been the perfect surrogate, want to have her own child first? And then there was playing with Mother Nature that we had to consider.
So surrogacy never happened, nor did adoption.
In reading “Conversations with Myself,” by Nelson Mandela, I was drawn to a letter he wrote to his second wife, Winnie, and it made tears well up in my eyes.
The letter was written to Winnie after she had come to visit Mandela in prison. He wrote about how when he looked out his window he could see the big shiny boat that was bringing her to him and how when he saw her, she looked beautiful, but not as beautiful as she had in 1968, when they were together, and that when she left, he began feeling the loneliness she must feel and how, now, the boat that was taking her away looked different, dark, and not as bright as he'd first felt when he was expecting her visit.
After reading Mandela's letter, I was reminded of “Candide,” by the French philosopher Voltaire, and of the two characters in the novel whose undying love finds them back together again after so many tragic events took them away from each other. And how Candide, in his late life, reflected on how beautiful Cunégonde was when he first met her, and that now, with such unfortunate circumstances that took place in both their lives while separated, they still loved each other.
I hope I have not come off as sounding bitter and hardened, but life's winding roads have taken me so far away from that era of love — when love was sure, when love was innocent.
They say to have loved and lost is better than to have never loved. And, he has been the hardest person to let go of in my life.
There is a line in “Love Story” that is said during the movie, and then repeated at the end, “Love means never having to say you're sorry.”
I am not sorry for the love we both shared.
But, I am left with so much uncertainty about my future because my world was shaken. There have been so many missed opportunities and unrealized dreams that fell through my hands like sand.
And, then, I begin to reason with myself, it's the best of all possible worlds.
Stephie Goldfish, aka Stephanie Hodgson, was born with a large ventricular septal defect, but it wasn't diagnosed until age 17. Since her defect went unrepaired, this resulted in Eisenmenger’s physiology, and she has developed severe secondary pulmonary hypertension. Stephie is an artist who graduated at the top of her class from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh; she is currently pursuing her love of writing, and writes short stories and poetry, as well as nonfiction. Learn more at her website and her personal blog.
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