To write a letter to the children that I will never have was an idea I carried around with me for a while. But so far it always felt as if the time wasn’t right.
One single sentence of my favorite muse on twitter yesterday has changed that now and suddenly it was there; the need to let go of that part of my past finally or better said; to leave it behind. But I will not, as originally planned, do it in form of a letter to my unborn children.
No, my life has in many ways not really turned out as I had expected it in my early years. For me it was always clear that I’d want to have children one day, but I’d never thought that fate may have other plans for me.
Of course I know better by now. For life, my life has taken a completely different direction. When I fell ill with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, fifteen years before the leukaemia no one had told me, that the price for my full recovery would be high. Because ten years later out of the blue I would get prematurely into menopause and at the same time I would have to bury my wish to have children as well.
Of course this was a big shock for me and it hurt me very much, but now I am even thankful that it turned out this way back then, because as seen from my present perspective in retrospect it made perfect sense. After all what had happened to me after the coma I’d have never been able to take care adequately of any existing children.
One thing always had irritated me over the years and that’s that I still have this vision in me, which exists since my young age, in which I see myself as an old woman, surrounded by a small group of children, to whom I obviously tell stories. Mistakenly I had previously thought these children would be my grandchildren.
But in the meantime I have realized that in this picture which I can still see before my inner eye I could be telling fairy tales to the children around me, who could also be children in a children’s home, or an orphanage.
But through this one sentence of my favorite muse I’ve realized something much more important. Namely that it is not absolutely necessary to leave children of flesh and blood behind, when you’ll leave this beautiful world one day. No, our ‘children’ could be our creative works as well, which in my case refers of course to my stories.
I realized that each new story which sees the light of day because of me is like a newborn child which goes its own way from now on. What counts in the end is only that we’re going to leave something meaningful behind, that has enriched or improved this world.
So, if I as a storyteller do good job I reach the heart of my readers and give them something only I can give them. At best, I even enrich and change their lives.
So why should I regret any longer to have no biological children, if my existence bears such fruits? Why should I burden my heart with grief any longer, when it is time to say the final farewell to unfulfilled dreams of the past which will never come true?
For the children I have never born will live in a way though. Not in physical form but as a part of me in each new story I send out into the world.
© The Storyteller’s Garden