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We Are In The Same Boat

“We are in the same boat.”

The towering woman’s carefully drawn eyes glimmered with a knowing sadness as she responded. Sharply dressed, the charcoal suit, tailored to accommodate her tall frame, hugs her slim, lanky torso, obscuring the truth she carries around. My eyes drop from her gaze, shocked by her camaraderie. Six words bonded two woman who were mere strangers not ten minutes earlier. Six words eased my discomfort as I struggled to respond to the all-too-common conversation:

“How long have you been married?”

“Ten-and-a-half years. Eleven in July!”

“Any kids yet then?” The expectation hangs heavy like a leaded blanket draping my shoulders into a slouch.

“Nope. We haven’t been too fortunate in that regard yet. Maybe someday.”

“We are in the same boat.”

Elaborating slightly she adds, “We’ve been married fourteen years. Time sure flies by!”

Never have I been met with a reflection of my own response. Never has my fear of responding been anesthetized with empathy. Never have I been so relieved to pass the task of deflection to another.

Through the blogs I follow, I have learned of the enormity of pregnancy loss, stillbirth, recurrent pregnancy loss, and miscarriage. Through my own blogs, I have learned of the heartbreaking secrets those around me carry about their own losses. Through this network, I have found my sense of connection, lost my extreme loneliness, and bolstered my strength to share my own story.

This woman was different. Erasing the anonymity enjoyed by my fellow bloggers (myself included), and blending in the braveness of tactful disclosure to a stranger, my interaction with this woman epitomizes my dreams for sharing Sophia’s Story. My childless state was not taboo. Her childless state was not shameful. In this journey of loss, pain, love, sharing, and connecting, I hope to have a thousand more interactions like I did with this tall, dark stranger.

 

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