Sometimes we are surprised by what we say. Sometimes we're enlightened by what others say. Sometimes, as in this case, the words are profound.
This happened long ago. My husband and I had been married a few years. Long enough to have a little daughter. Long enough to want to expand our family. Long enough to have endured three miscarriages.
Sometimes I dealt with the miscarriages by spending time alone. I didn't need to hear that it was better to miscarry, since something was probably wrong with the fetus. I didn't need to hear that God needed another angel. I didn't need to hear someone was glad it happened early in the pregnancy.
Nothing made it right...
But I didn't slip into depression either...Other times, I accepted the love and support of family and friends.
The miscarriages were a disappointment...a big disappointment...but my husband and I had hope. We were optimistic. We'd try again. Maybe we'd adopt.
I'd been home from the hospital a few days after the third miscarriage when a neighbor called. I didn't know her well, but she seemed concerned and wanted to come visit.
I remember sitting at the table with her and chatting. I barely knew her, but the conversation was engaging. We talked about our kids and the neighborhood. We shared common interests in tennis and jogging. She asked about my miscarriages and I told her. I learned she was a nurse at the local hospital.
Finally, she stood to leave. "Thanks for having me over," she said.
"Anytime," I replied. "It was fun."
As we walked outside, she paused, turned and looked at me.
"Tell me," she said. "How do you stay so positive? Wasn't it difficult to have all those miscarriages? How do you cope?"
Her question caught me by surprise. I shrugged my shoulders and threw my hands in the air.
"I don't know," I said. "God's will. It's just God's will."
I'll never forget her reaction.
She shook her head and murmured. "Those people with faith...they just seem to handle things better..."
With that, she left.
Her remark struck me as odd. Had she been expecting a little drama? Besides, at the time, I didn't really consider myself a 'people with faith'. What did she mean by that?
She never contacted me again. I don't even remember her name.
But now, decades later, I've never forgotten her visit...or the truth nestled in her comment...and maybe she hasn't either...