The man behind me at the checkout didn’t mean to sting me with his words.
He saw the flour, icing sugar, chocolate, eggs and milk I was unloading from my basket and said, “Doing some baking this afternoon, eh?”
“Yes,” I replied. “Chocolate cake with chocolate orange buttercream frosting.”
I left out the part about it being a cake to mark my divorce becoming final.
“Oh, you’ve got a lucky family,” he said.
To have a family of my own was the whole point of getting married. All my life, I believed I was supposed to be a mother. But this mess has taken up five precious years, bringing me to the point where the odds are stacked, towering against me having a child naturally.
So as I mark this day, it’s not the relationship that I’m mourning. I don’t really care that I’m officially single again. What hurts is the emptiness of not having a family, the thought of what my life will look like 20 and 30 and 40 years from now with no kids or grandkids, and the fear of becoming hardened and unable to be happy for others who have the one thing I’ve always wanted.
I know I’m not the only person in the world who unwillingly faces childlessness. I know there are other options, but my gut hasn’t yet produced a knowing feeling on the direction I should take. I know I shouldn’t make any big decisions until the dust settles and I’ve regained my confidence. Right now, all I can do is try to swim through the bog of hurt.
Ok. I’ve said my piece. I’ve had a good cry. Who wants cake?