It’s finally time to meet our first Warrior Queen of the Month! My heart is completely touched by Dani and her amazing strength and ability to persevere. She has been going through a particular rough time lately, and is still living her life as graciously as possible. Dani, you are an inspiration to me.
Dani De Luca is a freelance writer who currently lives in Illinois with her husband and pet rock, Fluffy. She received a B.A. from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and an M.A. from Cornerstone University. When she is not writing on all things heart and soul, she is traveling to every nook and cranny of these Unites States and sharing her heartspeak on her blog, www.bloomingspiders.com.
Mis-carry: The word itself creeps with guilty error, as if you’ve carelessly dropped something you were meant to hold. -Emily Bazelon
A few months ago, I opened a store-bought strawberry carton only to find a surprise inside. There, still attached to its long stem, was a beautiful red berry, accompanied by a significantly smaller one, not yet red in color. I held it up and smiled, then immediately charged the stairs. When my husband asked what I was doing, I called out, “Taking pictures of strawberries.” Afterward, I marched into our bedroom and held out my heart-shaped treasure. “Do you believe it?” I asked.
He stood quiet for a moment. “Even strawberries have babies,” he replied. “Even strawberries.”
Neither of us thought we’d be here, in this time and space and at this age, childless. When we met and slid into the madness that is falling in love, we discussed many things: religion, sex, goals, communication, money, and, of course, children. When we spoke of the latter, we did so matter-of-factly: When we have children, we’re going to right our parents’ wrongs. When we have children, we’re going to make time. When we have children, we’re going to love them till it hurts.
When we have children.
When we have.
We never thought or spoke in terms of if. We wanted them, so we would have them. It was as easy and as complex as that.
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From a tender age, I knew I’d been gifted with a mother’s heart. So when each of our 3 losses occurred, I questioned my purpose. Then, I questioned my heart. Finally, I questioned my divinity as a woman. How cruel if I were born with a mother’s heart, only to remain childless. Truly, what horrible joke had my God and the Universe played when (what should have been) the fertile soil of my womb became sodden with rotting death?!?!
It didn’t seem fair. It didn’t. It still doesn’t.
Yet there are beautiful days—now more than before—and moments that make me so grateful to be inhaling and exhaling beneath this big, blue sky. And, yes, there are still moments that make me feel as if I could almost see them, as if I could almost feel the weight of their tiny hearts in mine. And on those days, and in those moments, I remember that I do have a mother’s heart.
I know now I don’t have to be a mother to love like one. I know now that the sacrificial love of a mother extends beyond rocking chairs and nurseries, skinned knees and words of praise. A mother’s love is present in general care and protection of others. It is in intentional displays of affection. It is in my care of my father, who recently suffered a stroke. It is thick and present as I teach him numbers, model a word for him so he can write it afterward, and help him with his speech. It is in hand holding, heart holding, and the bad and good of the day. It is in the hushed moments of soul. It is in the darkness. It is in the light. It is always present.
To me, a mother is much more than a vessel of life; she is a vessel of living. She breathes heart and soul into those around her. She inspires. She nurtures. She loves.
She is me.
Then. Now. Always.