I've often talked about the gifts in my life as a result of my ectopic pregnancies, and infertility. The ability to help others through tough times, and knowing that I helped, also helped me make sense of my losses and what has come after. But as I've said before - and this won't be the last time I say it either - the biggest gifts were the friendships I established.
On our last night in the UK, I jumped on the train and sped off to Reading, an agreed central meeting spot, to rendezvous with three friends I first met on-line. We became friends first back around 2002-3, and that was solidified with a fantastic working relationship over about six or so years that ended just last year. But our friendship endures.
Those early years of knowing each other involved us talking about our losses, our efforts to build a family or complete our families, and to support each other. But time heals. Now we are a normal (well, not so normal, quite mad in some respects, but you know what I mean!) group of friends. We talk about about the kids of some, the pets of others, the spouses, brothers and sisters and parents, struggles with money, weight, bodies, jobs, and getting older. We know that underpinning all this is the fact that we were brought together through shared losses and grief. But we know now that it is love that keeps us together. Love, respect, and enthusiasm for the future.
I felt sad leaving these amazing women. I was beyond grateful that they agreed to get together to coincide with my presence there. I know that it was a considerable sacrifice for at least one. I don't know when I will see them again. But I don't (I can't) doubt that I will see them again. It might be two or three years, or it might be ten or twenty years (I hope not). And in the meantime we keep in touch through the internet. Love will ensure we see each other again. What a gift that is.