When your vision isn't your reality
These moments always catch me off guard. The moment when I'm faced with the image of what I thought my life would be, and then I am faced with the reality of what my life actually is. I was in Whole Foods getting food for Blue, and I was in self check out. I passed a couple with an infant in the shopping cart. Now, at this point in my grief journey, nuclear couples don't really trigger me as much as they used to. But this family was different. Many times I'm triggered by a Black nuclear family who have a baby girl, but this family was different. They weren't Black and I didn't get a good enough look at the baby to be able to tell if it was a girl or boy. What I noticed about the mother was her light blue scrubs (like the ones I used to wear as a nurse). In that moment, overwhelming emotion came over me.
After a long day of working in the Labor and Delivery Unit at Pennsylvania Hospital, we head to the supermarket to get food because Chris wants to make Blue a delicious meal that tastes like what everyone else eats. Expect it has no wheat, soy, gluten, eggs, dairy or nuts in it (I know, my baby is allergic to everything!). But he is so determined to make delicious food that his baby girl can eat that the super market has become our second home. So here were are, in Whole Foods, after I've had a long day of work. I'm super annoyed because he could have done this before they came and got me. But here we are....my little family. The boy I tracked down when I was 15 years old but who was avoiding me because the Lord had already told him that I was going to be his wife. And the baby that we waited 8 years to have. So although I'm annoyed that he didn't go to the market before getting me from work, and he swears that he is on a cooking competition show every time he is challenged with making a delicious allergen free meal for us, I wouldn't change my life for the world....
But I take a deep breath, continue in self check out and watch the couple leave out before me. I grab my groceries, I don't have on scrubs, Chris and Blue aren't with me, and I finish the rest of my errands for the day. As I reflected about this moment, I realized that it is not necessarily about Chris and missing him, but the nuclear family that I always longed to raise a child in. Coming home to an empty house, with a toddler is not the life that I thought I would be living. Working as a full time entrepreneur instead of a nurse is not where I thought my career path would take me. But here we are. The life that I saw for myself at 21 when I got married is completely different from the life that I am living at 32. And some days I feel empowered and motivated to do all the things, and other days I sit here on the couch and wish I could just feel his arm wrapped around me and hear him telling me how much he believes in me and how great of a mother he thinks I would be. Neither of us knowing that we would never get the chance to experience what it would be like to be parents together.