Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I Made An Old Lady Cry

I am fortunate to have a loving family. Not only the miracle of my son who entered the little family Shooter and I created but also my extended family. My parents, my sister and the few relatives and friends who harmonise in our existence.

My parents recently moved close to me to help babysit The Boy whilst I work part time. The bus stop is conveniently across the road from them. The bus that takes me to the train station that I catch to go to work.

The bus stop where I met Kate.

A little old lady in her late 60's. Shopping bag with wheels in tow; whose been meaning to drop in to the "loud old Greeks" a few doors down to welcome them to the neighbourhood and maybe steal a recipe or two of baklava and kataifi.

As we shook hands, introduced ourselves and exchanged the few pleasantries, Kate asked me if I had children. I haven't been asked that question in a while. I beamed, and answered yes and described what my little fella looked like. The words he has learned and the sentences he now constructs together. The toys he likes and how much he loves his grandparents. I can't catch a breath when I talk about my son. After all, he took a long time to find me and I deserve to relish in my achievement. Kate smiled and delicately said "that I am blessed with a true miracle" something she has never had the pleasure of having.

I just met another woman who has experienced infertility.

Kate was brought up by two loving parents and 3 other children in her family. She grew up and accomplished as a secretary and married a hard working man. She suffered 2 ectopic pregnancies, several operations, lost a fallopian tube and then eventually a hysterectomy. She was married for 20 years and then he left her. She lives alone now, on the pension and loves her gardening. Her siblings are estranged from her. Her nephew and nieces live in Queensland. She sees them rarely. Kate tried for many years to have children. She described to me the heartache and especially the stigma that she felt in a society that revered mothers, in a time where 4 children were the norm and working women were shunned. Fertility assistance like IVF didn't exist then. If it did, it would have been in the experimental stages where only the comfortably rich could afford it.

I then felt compelled to tell her about my IF journey, not for pretentious reasons but just so she knew that it was difficult for me to have children too and that her comment about him being a miracle rang more true. I acknowledged her discomfort talking about this issue and could empathise with her history.

I could see her eyes become watery and then she reached to her bag and grabbed a tissue to wipe the tear that had just trickled down her cheek. In that moment, I could have put on my counsellor hat on and leaned back, actively listened and nodded, but instead I grabbed her and hugged her and cried with her. The other passengers on the bus would have been oblivious to the fact that we were 2 women who had only just met, from dissimilar religions and cultures and distinctive generations, yet one identifiable factor joined us - infertility.

I survived, she didn't. To this very day she feels pain. To this very day she wishes her life had been blessed with a child. To this very day she cries for what she doesn't have.

My heart bleeds. If only I can describe to you how my heart and soul aches for Kate. Only a few of you will understand.

Let it be written... again - that I appreciate what I have in my life.

We are thrown many obstacles and experiences in our life. Open your eyes and you will see the truth. Appreciate what you have.

I will never forget Kate and I know where she lives.

“Blessed is the influence of one true, loving human soul on another.” ~ George Eliot


  1. Wow.... what a sad story. I can't imagine how lonely she must be with no family around her. I;m sure she feels blessed to have met you, as you feel blessed to have met her.

    I'm sure this is the start of a lovely friendship and the odd cup of tea.....

  2. Such a sad story and you tell it so well. I'm sure she is glad that she met you and got to tell her story and hear yours.


  3. Very moving...I'm sure your hug spoke volumes for Kate. Blessings to her and you!

  4. IF treatment really has come a long way! It's so sad for Kate that she was never able to have a child, but I hope that meeting you provides some solace. At the very least, you each made a new friend.

  5. What an amazing post. I'm so glad you met Kate!

  6. I have to say I love this post! I am also happy you met Kate.

  7. What a gift for her to have found you that day. And what a gift for us, a reminder of what we have, and to appreciate it.

  8. Wow Im shedding a tear or two as well..what a beautiful story and how wonderful you got to share with each other....She sounds like she has never gotten over her losses and loneliness but must have known to open up to you as you are a kind soft hearted person..how beautiful you both now share a secret and special bond...blessings to kate and you and please give her a hug for me too!!

  9. That is an amazing story! I feel so sorry for that lonely women.

  10. I know that I just emailed you this but I will say it again, this piece made me get extremely emotional and I couldn't write a comment initially. I feel for those women that have gone through this pain and not had access to the services we have had now. and massive kudo's for you for hugging her. Sometimes a hug is all that we need. You are a wonderful person with fabulous taste in handbags. xxxxxxxx

  11. Sorry that it's been so long in commenting... what an amazing story. You are both so fortunate to have met each other... and what a beautiful moment shared. Thinking of you always xoxo

  12. It's not everyone who can connect with a stranger like that. This says a great deal about you.

    I am a newbie on your blog. I LOVE the design... got a little bit of blog envy going on here.


  13. Beautiful post.
    "Appreciate what you have" - so so true.
    My heart goes out for Kate xx

  14. What a heartbreaking story. I am so thankful for modern medicine and the fact that I have my miracle. I can't even imagine how hopeless it must have been even 30 years ago!

    Happy ICLW. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful story!!!

    iclw #101

  15. What a touching story. I fear sometimes ending up like Kate. Your little miracle is indeed something to treasure!


  16. I feel for Kate and hope that I won't be like her and not know the joy of kids. On the other hand, as I read your post, I thought maybe you could make her an honorary grandma to your little one? (But only if you knew her well enough or got to know her...) It might not be the same, but you never know.

  17. This was a wonderful story and so delightfully told. My adoptive mother never had the pleasure of giving birth and I have always hoped I filled the gap in her life. I was with her from 10 days of age and she always treated me as though I was her very own child.
    May i please make one more comment (kindly meant)? You say a little old lady in her late 60's. Very soon I will turn 80 so am wondering what category I come under,

  18. Haha Mimsie, I had to laugh at the "little old lady in her 60s" too!

    I went through the struggle with infertility before being blessed not once but twice with miracle naturally conceived babies who now rule my life and destroy my sleep. One thing I knew for sure as I went through the infertility treatments was that this was something that would still make me cry as an old woman if I didnt manage to have a child.

    I'm glad you were able to share this emotional moment with her, as a woman who truly knew what those tears meant.

  19. That was so... sad. I can only imagine what that feels like.

    I'll be praying for her.



Grace was in all her steps, Heaven in her Eye, In every gesture dignity and love" ~ John Milton. Thank you for your comments.