She sat there with her hair glistening like spun silver. It was her day and she knew it. She was now 102-years-old and I couldn’t wait to ask her the question that had been haunting me for the past week.
As family and friends gathered around her I waited patiently to get by her side. Countless stories were being exchanged of the life she lived.
Then it was my chance, I sat next to her and rubbed the skin of her paper-thin arm and leaned in, “Aunt Doris”, I asked, “do you have any regrets?”.
As one of 13 siblings, she was the one who never had any children of her own. We were all adopted by her but I wondered if she regretted this in her later stage of life. Was this something that defined her life? Was there any wisdom that she could impart that would help me where I am in mine?
As she leaned in, I consciously held my breath for her response. I was almost afraid to hear it.
The week leading up to this celebration I thought of my questions a lot and reflected. Did I have regrets of my own? Truth be told, yes. I do have things that I wish I could have done differently. I own these choices but as I stopped and thought about them, one common thread that came up was fear.
For those of you on the fertility journey I challenge you to stop and think about this; is there something that is holding you back from seeking treatment or moving on to another treatment option? What is holding you back from reaching out and taking that next step to create your family? Will you look back in the latter stages of your life with regret that you never tried? Fear can feed inaction, and indecision tells you to wait for the “right time” but sometimes the fear can cripple you instead of fuelling you to toward your dreams. I encourage you today to not let fear hold you back. There is something stronger than fear and that thing is LOVE.
Aunt Doris leaned in and with her soft breath, she whispered, “I love you”. She then tilted her head back and began to sing.
She had answered my question better than I ever could have imagined.