Ten months after my first child was born, my husband and I (perhaps crazily) decided we’d “try” to have another child. My brother and I are about a year and a half apart (one year, five months, and fourteen days to be exact – he says I figured that out one day but I know that he did) and for some reason I thought that was a good thing to aim for.
What do they say, “people make plans and God laughs”? My plans were to have two children close in age, and then, maybe, even have a third. My plans didn’t count. The universe had other plans.
It took four and a half years of “trying” for me to get pregnant with my second child. Those were a long and hard four and a half years. I knew I should just be happy, because I was blessed with the most amazing child (and husband) but I loved being a mother and desperately wanted a second child. So instead of happy I was, at least part of the time, frantic and sad.
We tried a number of medical interventions – everything short of in vitro. And one month, the first month we included hormonal medication in our process, the doctor we were seeing was convinced I was going to get pregnant. In fact, the nurses were convinced I was pregnant. But I didn’t and I wasn’t.
I remember the emotional crash when the blood test came back negative. But I had a work appointment to keep – a potential client to meet – and I had to keep a positive attitude. I’m not one that usually creates a positive attitude by shopping, but I had a favorite store near where I was meeting my potential client, so I stopped in to see what I could buy myself to cheer myself up.
Live Love Laugh. This was the necklace that jumped out at me. A silver chain with three small pendants hanging on it. Live. Love. Laugh. I had to have the necklace, because that is what I was trying to remember to do. That is how I knew I wanted to be. That is what I knew I had every reason to be. As sad and disappointed as I was, I knew that I had every reason to live and love and laugh. And I knew I would feel better if I started to really live and love and laugh. It’s a kind of “act as if.” I might feel sad but if I acted as if I felt better, if I found a reason to live and love and laugh, I would feel better.
I bought the necklace and I’ve worn it throughout the years. It’s always been a reminder to me. I fastened the necklace around my older child’s neck three years ago when they headed to Tanzania to climb Kilimanjaro. I liked to think of them with that part of me always next to them, and I like to think of them with that reminder – to live, to love, and to laugh.
I still offer myself this simple reminder when I get caught up in things that matter so much to me in a moment, but that maybe don’t matter so much in the long run. How can I live more? How can I love more? How can I laugh more? I think this is always a good reminder, a good challenge, for me. I can get caught up in little things that can “ruin” my day, or I can live and love and laugh.
I can always give more of myself to the moment. I can always give more of myself to the people around me. I can always live and love and laugh more. I think I will right now.