Today’s church sermon resonated with me. The message was simple and clear—we should share our experiences and knowledge gained from successes and failures with others, especially those who come behind us. I immediately thought of our children. I liked that the message emphasized the significance of our failures. Successes make wonderful stories, but when we open up and allow others to see our faults and weaknesses—our struggles—we cross the divide and hope and possibilities are given the space they need to emerge.
Sometimes, I wonder what my legacy will be. Did I make a mistake by not having children earlier in my life? You know what I mean…the whole carrying the child for nine months (or nearly so) and assisting in the act of creation the way that most of the women in my life have done. I can remember saying I would adopt children when I was only 17 years old. I don’t know where the thought came from, but I declared it.
Many years passed. I forgot all about my declaration and just assumed that I would have a child when I found the “right” man. As I reflect on this, I realize there was only one man that I thought of as the “right” man before I met you, but I never married that man. I have no regrets about that. He never could have been the man that you are to me. I also chose not to have a child, even though I could have done so. Things never really seemed right for me to feel ready and willing to do it.
You may be wondering why I’m bringing all of this up now. You already know my history. You know the story of the time before you. The fact is that my past experiences prepared me for the life I have with you today. I want you to know that every time I have any doubts about my legacy or not “having” children, I look at you and the children you brought into my life. You are my right man, and the children feel like a gift. I didn’t carry them for nine months, but I’m caring for them now. It may be hard to believe, but they feel like they are mine. They are perfectly created for me to give them all that I have to offer as a mother. You, the children, and me—we are all perfectly matched, and I am forever grateful for this life we have and for the chance to create a legacy with you through them.
Never doubt that I am happy and in love with all of you.