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A poignant account of a dream of motherhood; while this dream comes true for some women, others face years of pain and suffering in its pursuit.
Today was a celebration of yet another year of their life together, a life filled with lots of laughter, friendship, care and happiness; and yet, one that remained unfulfilled. All these years burdened with a longing, of pain and prayer for the culmination of this love in the greatest gift of all. Every smile, every embrace was tear-stained and shadowed with pain for the loss of the past.
There had been happy days, the happiest they had ever felt in their entire existence, the days she knew that there was a little life growing within her. She had vowed to protect it, care for it, nourish it with affection and hold it close to her heart as only a mother could. But, it wasn’t destined to be so.
As she drifted through numerous trials and tests while swallowing her fear and frightened of the outcome, she still held a tiny flicker of hope kindled in her heart. She prayed to the heavens to keep the little one safe within her, she prayed for the day she could hold her first born in her arms, she promised penance of her entire life if only fate wouldn’t turn against her…..but was anyone listening?
Hoping against hope, she drifted into a dreamless sleep praying for a miracle but the crack of dawn woke her up. She knew that she had lost the most precious thing in her life ever. She bore the excruciating pain in silence and with a devastated mind helplessly witnessed the loss of the unborn child she had borne so close to her heart.
With a womb yearning for her lost motherhood and heart burning from the grief of countless ramifications from all sides on what she’d done to cause the loss, no one could ever read the pain in her eyes, the sadness in her smile. Her mind was in turmoil; she was lost, miserable and broken. But she persevered and bore her untold grief in silence. Time could not heal her, it only added to her despair. She wanted nothing more than to hold a child in her arms and clutch it close to her bosom, a child she could call her own.
Yet the heavens had decided that there was still time to bestow mercy. She waited on month after month, year after year, praying and hoping and trying to laugh away the sadness in her heart, reasoning with her plight, wishing everything to be set right. She buried the sobs emanating from her heart, and pitied herself when all those around her were stepping into and celebrating motherhood. Would she ever be pardoned for the sins she had committed, though she knew not what? When would she be worthy of holding her own infant with a smile from the bottom of her heart? A smile no longer outlined with tears…
Then came the spring after a cold winter; the Gods had finally yielded and today, she found that she had been finally gifted with the seed of life to nurture and grow. There couldn’t have been a happier day. Yet she walked as if in a daze. She felt drained of feeling, numb, emotionless, she felt no joy surging through her veins as it had the last time. With her heart heavy and eyes brimming she looked up at the skies as she prayed….Please let me keep this one.
Short story first published 7 years ago at Sulekha
Pic of child shoes via Shutterstock
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