Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Playing Cards

Please welcome our guest writer Chris who is filling in for the vacationing Michelle today. Thanks Chris!

Sometimes when people learn that Maggie and I did not have any children together they say “Oh, that’s good.” Other times they say “Oh, that’s too bad.” Either way, it’s very odd to me that they feel the need to pass judgment on whether or not we have kids. It was just timing. Really! Just timing! Before Maggie’s diagnosis, we did not strategically avoid parenthood, we just weren’t there yet. Actually, pre-diagnosis, we planned on getting pregnant as soon as I was out of school (I was headed to the Acton MBA program just after she graduated from Baylor law school.) Aggressive chemo to fight The Cancer pretty much killed those plans. What’s the ol’ saying? “We plan. God laughs”? Yeah, timing, not choice, put the cards on the table with which I now play the game.

I’ve wondered often what parenthood might have been like with my wife. We always had so much fun together so I was excited about raising kids with her, which I’ve never told anyone before now. My feelings were less “Hey, cool, we’re gonna have kids!” but more “Oh, this will be a fun, new adventure with My Sweetheart!” Now, just days after one of her best friends delivered her first and weeks after another of her best friends delivered her second, I’m reminded daily of the cards that timing dealt, and the adventures I’ll never get to experience. I’ve always been told having kids brought a new adventure every day. I always had so much fun with my trusty, and spirited, adventure-buddy. Damn, I miss our adventures; both the ones we used to have and the ones we never will.

Funny thing, all the soul searching in the world couldn’t tell me whether the cards I have been dealt add up to a royal flush or just plain crap. While I can definitely see the cards (they are kinda hard to miss at this point), I don’t know the rules of the game. Heck, I don’t even know the other players, really, or who might eventually show up to the table. And when they do, it’ll be interesting to see what cards they bring. Fortunately, (and this is a little bit of Maggie rubbing off on me) I tend to lean toward “everyone wins” instead of a winner-takes-all type of game. So, IF someone shows up at the table AND they have the right cards, maybe we can put our cards together and have another crack at this game. Or maybe we can even play a new game, a game with less thinking, like Go Fish.


  1. I have been thinking a lot about the same thing lately. I do not know why I was dealt my hand, but I keep hoping that someone will come to my table to play again too! But do I wait for it or invite them to come play!How do I know when to do either of these. I want to play again, which is something I want someone to join me as my new life partner.

  2. Love the fresh perspective on this... My twins were only 10 months old when my husband died 9 months ago and I've often wondered if the grief journey would be easier if we had never had kids and I didn't have to also worry about them in addition to myself in all of this. People often tell me that it is such a blessing that I was able to have his children, and it is, but it is also a burden to have to worry about raising children alone when it is not a path you chose. I often worry about finding someone to spend my life with so they don't miss out on the "daddy" experience. Looking at it from Chris' perspective reminds me that the grass is not always greener...here's to hoping that Chris and I both find what we're looking for in the future to feel fulfilled!

  3. I think each of us are on our own path. Where it will eventually lead us we don't know but if, we can, share the love we have in this life, with abundance, with children or not, with a lover, husband, friend, family ~ then we will at the least be participants in this game.
    I do not want to spend my life opting out, I want to give whatever love I have to give away, all of it. So when it is my turn, to go -
    I will know that my hand, was truly mine.
    If we stand with an open heart - someone will see our light.

  4. Just because you are holding the cards does not mean you have to play, it only means the dealer is giving you the opportunity. This reminds me of that Kenny Rodgers' song- "you got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em. Know when to walk away, know when to run." When you experience a loss like this, it leaves your mind numb, and I have known too many people to go bankrupt because they weren't paying attention to the game they were playing. I wonder why we even pick up the hand sometimes, when we don't really want to play. Maybe its because we think it's what we are supposed to do, maybe it's because we are just blindly going through the motions, maybe we just don't know what else to do. No one say we have to play this hand, no one says we can't step outside for some fresh air. What I think, based off what Kenny says, before we even consider stepping up to the table, we better have at least an idea of the game we are about to play, because "every gambler knows, that the secret to survivin', is knowin' what to throw away, and knowin' what to keep, 'cause every hand's a winner, and every hand's a loser."

    Nice to hear from someone new. My heart is ripped apart, and I can't even walk into the casino, but Chris,I hope one day you break the house, and get that royal flush (or maybe just a set of Queens).