‘When’ Became ‘If’

We had a wonderful Easter weekend. You see, it wasn’t about us. We have to remember that, and remind ourselves at times. Sometimes, you just go and celebrate. And forget about your own struggles. Forget, that is, until you’re forced to remember. Ah, those constant reminders…

My nephew was one of four babies baptized this weekend at their church. What a perfect Sunday for a baptism…Easter Sunday. We drove over six hours each way to be there. If you recall, my twin brother and his wife had a beautiful baby boy in November. I was asked by my twin brother about two months ago to be the godfather for his new son….I was elated to be asked and was so thrilled to say yes and to be there as a sponsor for him. You see, my nephew is probably the coolest baby ever. And this not only gave me a “forever” link to him, but it gave me an opportunity to be a lifelong mentor for him (not to mention a weekend of holding him, playing with him, etc.). I freaking love that kid.

My wonderful wife accompanied me on the trip, and my brother’s in-laws happily offered us a place to stay in their home for the weekend. They were so wonderful, and so welcoming.

The baptism, to say the least, was awesome. This is going to sound a little un-guy-like, so just bear with me. But the nephew was beyond “cute”. He was wearing a traditional baptismal gown, and I (kiddingly) reminded him that this is the only time he’ll ever wear a “dress” in his life. But to be honest, the kid can wear whatever he wants in his life and he’ll still be great in my book.

Despite all this….constant reminders. Out of the three young couples at dinner on Saturday night, we were the only ones without a kid. And then…..when became if.

Our (the twin brother and I) parents couldn’t attend the baptism. She had sent a couple of gowns to the twin and his wife that apparently we had been baptized in, so that maybe they would use them. But the nephew is 5 months old; we were 2 months old when baptized. So they didn’t fit. The twin brother was explaining all of this when he commented: “If you guys have a kid, maybe you could use one.”

He didn’t mean anything by it. He was actually making a very nice gesture, wanting us to picture this day for ourselves, and to tell us we could use one of the treasured gowns instead of them. It was meant to be nice.

But in one word, the meaning changed. There was no inevitability here. There instead was doubt. There was uncertainty.

When became if. And you know what? Who’s to argue?

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5 responses to “‘When’ Became ‘If’

  1. I am so happy you were able enjoy the day and be there for your nephew. I can tell you are going to be a wonderful god father!
    I am sorry for the pain of the word ‘if’. When something like that happens, it is hard to be mad…or sad…it takes time to absorb it. My husband said that once, and he didn’t realize he said it until he registered the look on my face.
    I hope you are able to use those gowns.

  2. I’m glad you had a great day. Your nephew is lucky to have such a fantastic and supportive uncle.

    Sorry about your brother’s poor word choice. Those kind of slips really smart.

  3. Wow. The power of one word. I hope that if becomes a when very soon for you and you are able to use those gowns (who knows maybe both at one time!). Sending you lots of good thoughts.

  4. The “who’s to argue” part resonates with me.
    We’re seven years into this and I’m the one who first started using “if” (at least in my memory…perhaps I heard it from a well-meaning friend or family member and adopted it as my own; I don’t know).

    There came a point, somewhere along the way, where it was too painful to hear other people hope for us, and in my skewed and hurting point of view, to hear the word “when” was almost a slap in the face…a word I perceived was used out of pity, in a patronizing way, when in reality they meant “if”. Of course, I did go through a rather cynical phase earlier in this journey, so my perception wasn’t necessarily reality. 😉

    Recently, I have heard the word “when” escape my lips when talking with friends and family, and even my husband, about our future children. I think it’s because I have determined in my heart that whether they are from our own bodies or not, we will eventually have children. It took me a long time to get to this place, but I like it.

    I’m so glad you had a blessed Easter holiday! What a joy and honor to be the godfather of such a treasured life. May your “if” become “when” very soon.

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