40 candles

I didn’t want to organise a big celebration for my 40th birthday because the absence of my son and any other baby for that matter was just too much to bear. As evidence would suggest, by age 40 your biological clock has long started to lose it’s battery and if you have lady parts and haven’t achieved procreation by this age, then the chances you will declines considerably.

Let’s face it though, in life though there is always an absence of some description. That’s just the deal. What would there be to strive for if we had it all? So I decided that the best course of action would be to maintain a state of gratitude and celebrate what is, despite what may be amiss.

We are all waiting for something to show up in our lives or to leave our lives for that matter. But that’s not a decent enough reason to turn away from what is glaringly positive and ever present.

Like everyone else on this wonderful planet, I have a lot to be thankful for and so I pulled together a small gathering to acknowledge the scary number.

Although the loss of my baby son will always plague me, it is imperative to give thanks for what he taught me. So I chose to focus on the incredible love I received and that helped pave the way for a peaceful celebration.

Over the last few years a few of my friends and family expressed how profoundly affected they were by my boy’s short life and I’ll never, ever get sick of hearing that. It means he mattered not only to me but to a wider network of people who also had their hearts opened and lives touch by a tiny human.

That’s the interesting thing about love. We don’t just find it in our ecstasy and joy, we find it in our pain and in our suffering. It’s in our celebrations as well as our betrayals. It’s both light and dark. It’s all encompassing and it enriches every experience whether deemed negative or positive. Love just is.

I’ve learned a great deal about myself over the last few years. About strength and resilience, my sheer lack of patience and I’ve come to realise that in this life you either fight against every seeming injustice or you embrace it and own it and try to laugh when you’d much rather crawl into a corner and rock back and forth.

Our best option is to observe ourselves through our struggles and love ourselves any way. Stuff up or get it right and love ourselves anyway. Carry on like a crazy person one day and then behave perfectly normal the next and realise that the best thing you can do is look in the mirror and affirm that no matter how insane the entire world may think you are, you are still utterly and undeniably loveable.

What happens to us isn’t what defines us, it’s how we respond and how gently we can treat ourselves in the process of whatever we are battling that counts. Everyone has struggles, everyone has pain and everyone needs to absolutely love the crap out of themselves and also each other to make it through this incredible life.

So I made it through my 40th birthday and I discovered it wasn’t all that scary. It’s just a number after all. What made it that much sweeter was that before I had even blown out the candles I discovered my wish had come to fruition. I was pregnant again. Pregnant and 40. I would never have predicted that even with an insanely accurate crystal ball.

Turns out you really can get what you want. It’s just never and I must exaggerate this point, ever, on your time. That may seem unfair but in all honesty as long as it shows up, do we really care?

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