I try really, really hard not to like country music.  Usually I succeed, much to my husband’s dismay.  I’m pretty sure Tahd would be considered an expert both on old school and new country music, and I’m certain he can perform every single Garth Brooks’ song ever recorded.  My music choices are a gross disappointment to him.  I buy things like “Boom Boom Pow” and “Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked” and “Circus.”  Yes, unfortunately (and ashamedly) I like Britney.  And a ton of pop.  And Christmas music.  I love Christmas music.

Tahd, on the other hand, buys things like “Leader of the Band” and “Mississippi Squirrel Revival” and “Ladies Love Country Boys.”  I’ll give him “Devil Went Down to Georgia” and even “American Pie,” which I think is an absolutely detestable, horrific song that should be listened to if one wants to Torture Himself For What Seems Like Hours.  I have to give him those because those are classics.  But the others?  No, I fight and resist.

Today, however, I was part of a trio providing music for the funeral of a gentleman from my church.  I knew this man minimally, and after today’s service I wished I had known him more.  He had four sons, each of whom spoke quite articulately at the service, each one declaring their deep love for a man they were privileged to have as their father.  It was moving, watching a family say goodbye to their patriarch.  It’s something I’ve done several times in the past – watched a funeral more as an observer than as a participant – due to my role in the musical aspects of services.  But today’s was particularly poignant and touching.

One of the things I learned today about the man who passed away was that he liked country music.  This fact perplexed me – not so much that he liked it but that it seemed out of place.  I should explain.  A man in his 70s who likes country music probably isn’t all that unusual.  It does seem unusual in the context of our church, however.  We’re a fairly young church geared moreso to younger families.  Our music is louder.  There are drums – sometimes two sets of them.  There is very little “country” or even “traditional” about the music at our church.  And yet he attended.  Consistently.  And he served.

The first song we played sort of did me in.  I’ve been feeling a little raw lately.  The ivf is coming up.  I know it won’t work.  I just know it.  But I’m still going to do it.  I think.  I asked several friends about this disparity – why I’d do something I don’t believe will work – and they said it sounds like a defense mechanism.  That the mind will go to great lengths to protect the heart from pain.  I don’t feel hopeful.  I really don’t.  I feel terrified – sort of like a cartoon character trying to clamor up a tree while a rabid dog waits at the bottom, barking and snarling and threatening.  I worry that I won’t survive it – not that it’ll actually kill me, although I worry that it’ll make me wish it had killed me* – but I worry that it’ll destroy what I have left of my insides, of my emotions.  Of my heart.

I feel very fragile.

In our family when we break things, Tahd goes to great lengths to fix them.  For months, the top of my microwave was home to the pieces of a small blue and white vase we received as a wedding gift.  I don’t remember what happened to cause its demise, but whatever it was Tahd carefully gathered all the pieces and set them aside as a project for another day.  I endured them in my workspace as long as possible before finally throwing them out, assuming that if we hadn’t repaired the pieces in several months it didn’t need to get done.  Yesterday, I was searching through Tahd’s shop to find drill bits to use for a picture frame project that has been plaguing my life for the past 9 months.  In the process, I stumbled on a collection of pottery bits Tahd had collected after knocking over a plant at my parents house while he mowed their lawn.  He had plans to repair this small planter even though my father said he didn’t care about it and has already replaced it with something new.  It was repairable.  Tahd repairs the repairable because that’s what you do.  You repair things that can be repaired.

Last night as Tahd gathered a snack for himself, a small Pyrex bowl fell out of our cupboard and shattered.  Pyrex seems to be known for its durability, but when it breaks, it shatters.  Shards landed everywhere, throughout our kitchen and even into our dining room and entryway.  Did Tahd collect these slivers to keep for a later repair?  No.  Because it was too shattered.  It was too broken to be fixed.  Even if we had wanted to fix it, it would have been impossible.  And even if we had done our best to cobble it back together again, some pieces would have been irretrievable and it would be incomplete.  I would never again have trusted for food storage or reheating.

Infertility has been an experience of being broken.  I think everyone has these sorts of experiences, whether it’s infertility or the death of a loved one or irreconcilable relationships or public humiliation or failure to achieve.  We’re human.  We break.  We’re supposed to.   But at some point, I feel like infertility could break me beyond the point of recovery.  And then what?  What happens when you’re too broken to be put back together?  What happens when too many pieces of the shell of your life are missing and you can no longer be completed?

I imagine some, most probably those from a faith community, would tell me God’s specialty is putting things back together again… that only in complete surrender can I be whole.  But I don’t think that’s what I’m talking about.  And if it is, I’m not ready to go there.  I’m hardly strong enough from the last breaking-and-reassembling process.  And right now, I’m tired of finding God in infertility.  I’d like to find Him somewhere else for a while.  I’d like to find Him somewhere happy.

I’m afraid of falling apart.  I’m afraid of who I’ll be after we do ivf again.  I’m afraid I’ll have to say goodbye to the person I’m enjoying becoming.  I’m afraid of ivf.  I’m afraid, period.  But I’m going to do it anyway.

That was the song.  “Anyway.”  By Martina McBride.  I tried so hard to hate this song that I ended up liking it.  And just as soon as I liked it enough to really listen to the words, I hated it again.  It’s good.  And it’s cliche.  But it’s true, and maybe worth listening to if you haven’t heard it before or if you’re in need of encouragement and hope or if you’re just having a bad day or if you’re like my husband and love country.  I suspect, although I have made Tahd no promises, that I might end up listening to it several times over the next two months.

* Note to those who found this statement concerning: I did not previously, nor do I think I will in the future, have a desire to harm myself in any way if our fertility treatments don’t work. Except I did have urges to hit walls. So I did. And then I heard plaster crumbling behind the lathe and got a little nervous and thought it best to dial it back a bunch. 😉 I have a counselor and a local doctor perfectly willing to prescribe whatever mental health medication I need to make it through, and I have also promised to tell my husband asap if I start to fall off the cliff.

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  1. Hey Heidi,

    As a country music fan, I do fully admit that it is often cliche and sort of hokey. Those two facts haven’t stopped me from listening – I just choose to embrace my lameness. And in the process, I’ve managed to get FK to like a little bit of country/blue grass.

    And I know what you mean about being broken beyond repair. I don’t think God takes us broken and puts us back the way we were. What’s the point in being broken if we just go back to being the old us with scar tissue? I imagine that God takes the pieces and uses them to make something entirely different-like a mosaic.

    Still sucks going through it though. You and your family are in my prayers – truly.

    .-= Emily K´s last blog ..another new section… =-.

  2. I’ve started this comment twenty times…I have so much to say and not one thought is coming out. Okay, so here goes. You will not shatter beyond repair. You won’t. Others will be there to hold you together, even at those weakest moments. I have been there, I have gone through the last failed cycle, and though at times I thought I just couldn’t go on, something would happen or someone would come along who would remind me that I was strong enough, that I had something to move forward for. I am not the same person, but I’m okay with who I have become. I know everyone is different and I know you’re probably thinking, “Hush up, there, Renovation Girl.” But I want you to know as you do this, that no matter the outcome, you will make it through. Your friends will be there, your family will be there, and out here in computer land, I will be here. It is so hard and painful when the end of the journey comes, when there are no more options, but you’re not there yet, my friend. And we’re all pulling for you.
    .-= RenovationGirl´s last blog ..Some Kind Suggestions for the Upcoming Shopping Season =-.

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