Scent of a Woman

This morning as I was walking our adorable dog, I caught the scent of lilacs. It was a strange thing, as like most people, I associate lilacs with spring time.

Again, this morning at work, the same scent whiffed through the air. Same fragrance of lilacs … except now I had this image in my mind of the purple lilac bush in the backyard of my childhood home.

Despite the fact that I was born and raised Catholic and went to 12 years of Catholic school, I don’t consider myself a very “good” Catholic. However, I do consider myself a relatively spiritual person.

I believe that there is a higher being out there that watches over me; a person who is there to observe my thoughts and actions, but who is also nonjudgmental with the path in life I decide to take.

I choose to believe this because I need to know that there is someone out there (besides my husband) who supports me when I need it most. I don’t demand this higher being to prove His/Her existence; He/She wouldn’t need to say one word to provide further proof. All the faith I need is that I feel that unconditional love and support. I need to know that there is some positive “force” in my life.

After experiencing the aroma of lilacs for the second time in a matter of hours, I realized what … or rather who was infiltrating my senses.

This is when my spirituality comes into play; my belief that there is life outside of this existence. Perhaps it’s based on previous experiences. Or maybe it’s just because I’ve always had an open mind to these types of things.

This morning, I believe my Grandma Rose came to visit me.

Grandma Rose loved the color purple. I could never imagine her wearing anything else but all shades of purple. Which is why, despite her namesake flower, I have always associated the lilac bush in my parent’s backyard with her.

So when the smell of lilacs overcame me for the second time today, I just knew that it was Grandma reminding me that she was looking over me; acknowledging that I had finally made the decision to live child-free with my Hubby. It’s as if she was letting me know that, even though I always wanted to have a house full of children like her (I have/had 10 aunts and uncles from her alone!), it was okay that I didn’t achieve that dream.


I can’t believe the outpouring of love and support I received on my blog after publishing the previous post. Every comment was a reminder to me of exactly why I continue to write … of why I express many of my most private thoughts and feelings to the public.

It’s amazing how total strangers (well, not all of you are strangers anymore …) can provide that unconditional love and support I’ve needed during the most difficult times in my life. These “strangers” have literally taken me from feeling incredibly isolated with no one (but Hubby, of course) to turn to … to feeling as if I’m in a room full of Adoption, Pregnancy Loss and Infertility (ALI) gals. It’s as if these “strangers” become that positive force I’ve learned to turn to when, at times, I felt paralyzed in taking a step forward.

But despite the incredible love and support I’ve received from the ALI community and from close friends alike, I still can’t seem to shake off some of the sadness that comes with this decision.

Part of me thinks that, despite the fact that we’ve been living without children for years, the reality of saying that we’re living child-free is so … FINAL. Even though Hubby & I both know that it could change at any moment.*

Mostly, I think it’s because I’m searching for the “approval” of those other important people in my life; those family members who may have looked to us to continue the family lineage and those traditions that both our families hold dear. I wonder how they feel about this decision. And if, by making this choice I’ve disappointed them in some way, shape or form.

Logically, I know it shouldn’t matter what they think. I know that this is the right decision for Hubby & I at this time. It has allowed us to open our hearts and minds to new adventures in life.

Emotionally? Well, that’s a different story.

But this morning’s visit from Grandma Rose and all the warmth and love I’ve received over these past few days … Well it’s those positive things I should continue to focus on.  Because, somehow I know I’ll need to depend on that energy on those days … those moments I need it the most.

Thank you again, from the bottom of my heart,
for every kind word and encouragement.


My Grandma Rose with all her kids. Guess which one is my Mom?

* Meaning that we’re not closed to the idea of having children;
but if the right
opportunity should come along …

6 Replies to “Scent of a Woman”

  1. Wow, just happened upon your blog tonight. Your post about your decision was utterly amazing. I made the same decision not long ago. As a way to continue to cope, I developed an infertility e-class for infertiles to deal with their emotions only. No talk of treatment or current children.

    If you’d like to join us as my personal guest, we’d love to have you with us. The website is and you can e-mail me personally at for details.

    I had no other way to contact you so my apologies for doing it here. I’m really not interested in publicity for the class but just helping other infertiles. Especially the ones who decide to be child-free. Wishing you all the best on this new leg of your journey.

  2. What a beautiful post. I, too, know that there are those who we cannot see that are with us when we need it. My grandmother “visits” me and let’s me know by sending me extra light. It’s enough to be noticeable. What a gift you have received by recognizing that the lilacs came from your grandmother. :O)

    Also, please go visit my friend’s blog (her name is Carolyn):

    I think you will find someone who will relate with you and your experiences in a way that may even benefit your desires for motherhood.

    Have a beautiful day!

  3. I’m late in adding my comments to your last two posts so I’ll catch up here. As others have said, I’m proud of you and your strength and honesty and search for peace. It’s not a well defined path that we’re on, but it’s ours — and that in and of itself is powerful and its promise for something new and different offers its own rewards.

    Thanks for reminding me that I’m on this path with some incredible women…

  4. Hello!

    My name is Elisabeth, and I am an infertility / repeated pregnancy loss “veteran”. You can read a little bit about me and my experiences in my (not very updated) blog: . I am completing a PhD in Counseling Psychology, and my dissertation is focused upon the impact of infertility on marriage. I believe strongly that there is a need for better support services for men and women who are undergoing IF diagnosis and treatment, and my hope is that this study will aid in the development of such services.

    I am contacting you after stumbling across your blog. I am recruiting participants for my study, and wanted to invite you and your husband to take part. All that would be involved would be the completion of an online survey, that would take approximately 20 minutes. All couples who complete the surveys will receive a voucher good for a pair of free movie tickets at a Regal Cinemas.

    Please let me know if you are interested! I have included the criteria for participation below.

    Best of luck to you!

    Member of a married, heterosexual couple
    Both you and your spouse are between the ages of 20 – 45
    You do not have any biological or adopted children living in your home
    You are not currently pregnant
    Either you, your spouse, or both has received an infertility diagnosis
    You have received treatment for infertility in the past six months, or plan to do so in the next six months
    Both you and your partner are willing to participate & have access to the internet

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