Thursday, March 21, 2013
In between classes, I found myself sitting in the hosptial, waiting for some tests. I was not worried or concerned, just in a hurry to get out in time for after-school-pick-up. The radiologist entered my room and said she was going to do an ultrasound. As the cold jelly hit my stomach, my heart began to race! I immediately felt nauseated and the room began to spin. As she moved the wand back and forth over my belly, the stillness in the room transformed me back, 22 years prior, when I sat in the same hospital, having an ultrasound. The familiar setting was paralyzing. Today, just a belly ache, but 22 years ago, it was to see the heartbeat of our first child. I was SO excited!!! I had been having some complications, but the doctor was confident that all was well. And, the ultrasound was ordered to calm our fears. However, 22 years ago, the tech was quiet. The more she moved the wand, the quieter she got. Staring at the grayish black mass of static, I would ask, with great anticipation, over and over again, "Is that the heart?" With each question, somehow, the already quiet room would get even quieter. Following the longest few minutes of my life, we were told to go home and the doctor would call. Later that evening, he called and verified our biggest fear----there was no heartbeat. The coming weeks were a fog of sorrow and emptiness-----the ultimate family change, the loss of a little one. The loss of someone I felt SO close to, but had never met. A void of something that felt so right, yet ended so wrong. My very own womb became that "empty chair" for this little one....so wanted, so loved, so perfect! This afternoon, an ultrasound ordered to make sure a belly ache was only that and nothing more. However, I was overwhelmed with sadness, just as I was 22 years ago. The familiarity of my surroundings caused my own heart to ache again, for my incredible loss. As I layed there, I realized the power of my own thoughts. I quietly wiped a tear, and rather than a heartbeat, I calmly said, "how does it look?" I believe the radiologist could detect my uneasiness, though she did not know from how deep it came, she confidently replied, "all is well!" Alone this time, for the ultrasound, I said to myself, "if my brain can recreate heartache, it can recreate joy!!" So, I put this realization to the test. As the radiologist continued the exam, I took myself back to happier ultrasounds, "It's a girl!", "It's boy!", "There's the heart beating away!" I remembered laughing all the way to home to pack for the delivery of our second baby, that we had been told was a girl.....but at a 38 week ultrasound, was told, "It's a boy----and a BIG one!!" Within moments, my thoughts of sorrow and grief turned to smile and laughter. My very own thoughts reminded me of the many times I was in the hospital to welcome a new little one, rather than the one visit, I had to bid farewell. Today, within myself, I discovered a power like no other. The power of my own thoughts!!! I became my own superhero as I realized I had the power to go anywhere and be anyone. I realized that I had the power to change sorrow into joy, just with my own thoughts. The human mind is truly amazing.....and even more amazing, is He who created it! Sometimes, those thoughts that bring us to tears are cleansing. They remind us of loss, hurt and grief. They can make us feel close to something or someone we once had or held. However, it is empowering to know that we need not feel or experience that longer than we wish. Once we have cried enough tears, felt enough hurt, and dusted the "empty chair", we have the power to laugh, to smile, to rejoice and exclaim, "I can be happy-----the power is within ME!"