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Oy vey. That's a lotta kashka to be dealing with.

I wish I had a good answer for you. I have felt that this struggle is opening me up to much more spiritual parts of myself - I'm sorry to use such an over-used term, I don't know how else to describe it - "deeper" parts? "mystical" parts? all the terms suck - and that this, in turn, is what has been getting me through the bad moments.

I don't mean to suggest that I believe in any way that there's somehow a reason for infertility - I don't believe that God makes people suffer - but rather that I believe that we are all on profoundly important personal journies that have the power to change our lives, for good or for ill. Is there a comprehensible reason why your SIL conceived relatively quickly, in the face of your and Alethea's loss? Not to me. But given that loss - the brutality and depth of it - I do believe that you are scraping much closer to the bone of what it means to be alive than some other people.

Some people never receive the opportunity to figure out what's important to them, what's central, what they believe. Some people never receive the opportunity to learn what it means to love another human being. Please don't misunderstand me - I am in NO WAY suggesting that infertility is some sort of "blessing in disguise." However, I do believe that how we respond to this ordeal can be one of the most defining experiences of our lives.

The Hebrew word for an ordeal, a personal trial, is nisayon. Nisayon derives from the Hebrew root nes, which means miracle. The idea is that within your worst ordeal will lie your personal miracle, the transformation of your very soul. These are trying times, Joe. I know that on your worst days, you feel lost and hopeless. But when you are in motion, sometimes you lose sight of the fact that you are, in fact, making tracks, that you are moving closer to something, that you are changing. I believe in you, and I believe in your love for your wife. Out of everything you've ever written, that's the one thing that shines through.

Even though I can't offer you any comfort tonight, I'll leave you with an observation made by someone who was going through a very difficult personal time. He noted that regardless of the love and support of others, sometimes he just felt so alone on his journey. Then he mused, "But I guess it's like boats on the water at night - even though they are separated by distance, it is still so comforting to see the lights on the other boats bobbing nearby."

We'll keep our lights on for you.
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