My brother in law once told me that I handle difficult life events with grace. I was so surprised by his assessment. It was one of those rare moments in life when I got a tiny peek through the window of another person’s perspective of me. It was a gift, and I’m trying to cling to it through my disappointment today. We have no Bean. We tested very early in the morning on Saturday, just a few hours before we were scheduled to depart for a camping trip with friends. We were so sure that the test would be positive, that we didn’t really consider how we’d feel if it wasn’t.
I stared at the stark white space next to the test line. I stared for much longer than the requisite three minutes. In fact, I took the entire test apart, just to see if there was some glimmer of hope to be found. There was no such glimmer-the test was definitely negative and the biological confirmation came shortly thereafter. We cried for a bit and went back to sleep. When we woke up a few hours later, we were able to find some humor and laugh. And then we got in the car and I completely lost it. No grace in those tears-just sorrow, frustration, and anger. The latter response is the most surprising and the most cringe-worthy. I thought about just staying home so that I could cry all I wanted and just get it all out. The idea of putting on my game face for 14 friends and strangers was overwhelming, but I’m glad I did it. I almost crumbled again a few times, but it was nice to sit quietly amongst friends, enjoying the majestic beauty of arid canyons cut by a cool, clear river.