Sunday, April 15, 2007

Barren Bitches Book Tour The Time Traveler's Wife

Loss (and unrealized dreams) are a theme in this story -- Henry loses his mother, Clare loses Henry often and sometimes for long stretches, Clare's grandmother loses her brother and her husband, etc. At one point, her grandmother asks Clare, "do you ever miss him?" She replies, "every day, every minute. Every minute, yes that's the way, isn't it?" ... Self-pity floods me as though I've been injected with it. It's that way, isn't it? Isn't it?" How has your loss and/or unrealized dream changed you?

Yes, it has. In the past few years, we've lost 3 family members and had several unrealized dreams. Has it changed me, absolutely. My husband has lost his family: mother, grandfather (who was the main father figure for a long time) and father within 18 months, as our son was fighting for his life. We almost lost our son to Vasa Previa as well. It has changed our family dynamic. We are trying so hard for a second child because Mr doesn't want Boo to go through losing his parents alone like he did. He learned after losing his mother that she'd given a son up for adoption before he was born. Our quest for a second child is shaped by this.
I'm not so quick to dismiss people's feelings. I don't assume that people are fine anymore. You never know the recent losses or issues that people are going through. I'd like to think I'm more considerate and understanding. I also treasure and cherish things that I didn't know I would. I don't take for granted anymore that I can pick up the phone and call my parents. DH can't do that anymore.

Clare, desperate for a child, is told by a future Henry not to give up. She is told that in his present, they have a child. This absolute knowledge helps Clare maintain hope and move forward, despite considerable obstacles. In the absence of such absolute knowledge, what keeps you moving forward with treatmentthrough infertility? Where do you find your own inner strength?

I think that because we have Boo, I do have a little bit of that inner strength. I know that we are so lucky to have him that I sometimes feel guilty for wanting another. I find strength in the knowledge that Mr and I are a unit together and that our unit is strong enough to endure considerable obstacles. We've made it through some very rough times and we can weather more if needed.
Also, although I don't go to church often, I do believe in God. I think in the grand scope of things, there is a higher being out there. My faith, although not as strong as it should be keeps me strong in a way.
I know that in the long run, no matter what happens to us, Mr and I will make it. We are strong together and we are strong for each other when we need to be. Part of that is because that's how I was raised, to be strong. I might be falling apart in one way but in another, I'll be the one to depend on. My mother is to thank for that. I get my strength from her and I'm proud of it.


Henry suggests adoption (p337) and then says (p339) that he doesn't feel incomplete without a child of his own and that Clare is obsessed with having a baby. Did / do you ever feel that one of you wants a baby much more than the other and if so, how did you cope with ?

I waver between thinking that I want another child more and Mr wanting one more. It goes in phases. Just today we've been talking about how it has finally hit Mr that we may actually have another and all that it entails. We talked about our feelings when we first found out about Boo. He told me that just recently he started thinking about how scared he was when we found out I was pg with Boo and all of the changes that were forthcoming. He's getting those same thoughts again. He wants to take them as a sign an I'm not sure we should. I think it's a pendulum with us. For a while, it's me and all I can think of. Then it's him and the feelings of loss that just don't go away. It's at it's worst when it's both of us who are desperately looking for another.

Hop along to another stop on this blog tour by visiting the main list at http://stirrup-queens.blogspot.com/ You can also sign up for the next book on this online book club: Waiting for Daisy by Peggy Orenstein.

8 comments:

Karen said...

Hey you answered one of MY questions! Hooray! (I'm easily amused, as you can see)

I enjoyed reading your answers to the book tour questions...even the ones that weren't mine. :)

The Town Criers said...

I am so sorry about your husband's parents. It's so interesting to read the motivations that bring us towards parenthood (or additional parenthood since you already have Boo).

Samantha said...

That's so true, we should never assume that other people are fine. Everybody's lives are shaped by loss in some way.

I also find my husband reacting in the same as yours with a pendelum swinging about how much he wants children. We don't have any yet, but sometimes he is very enthusiastic about it, and other times, he gets very worried about all of the changing having children will bring.

Jessica said...

I also liked what you said about not assuming everyone is fine. It's so true that we never know what people around us are going through. So it's nice to keep that in mind.
Jessica - http://geekking.com

Drowned Girl said...

My partner is a bit like Henry. He just states firmly that he knows we will have another child. I wish I could work out how he knows!

Starfish said...

Faith and a good husband got me through alot of it too.

NCD said...

Loss sucks. Each loss changes you and takes a little bit more away.

My husband started out our 'planning' stages wanting 10 kids, over the years it has whittled down to 'please just one". Maybe the pendulum will swing back at some point.

Bea said...

It's interesting the way we swing back and forth as a couple. Sometimes I think it's a case of only one of us can bear to hope at one time. Or perhaps it's that only one of us can afford to lose hope at one time.

Bea