adjective - guided by truth, reason, justice, and fairness.The word "just" keeps coming up.
adverb - only or merely.
It was one of those words that grated against us as we were trying to conceive.
"Just relax...it'll happen!"
"Just stop trying...you'll get pregnant in no time!"
"Just put your trust in the Lord and it will be fine."
"Just." As if it is simple, as if it is effortless. The easiest thing in the world for others.
It has been a struggle for us since day one. And it has not been a mystery for us. We know why we can't have kids. Coming by this knowledge wasn't simple or effortless either. Lots and lots of tests. Operations. Meds. "Speculation" shares a root with "speculum."
Nothing about this process at any point could be described as "just" doing anything.
And there is the other meaning of the word.
If nothing about this process has been simple, then even less has been fair.
I used to pay lip service to the idea that the world is cold and arbitrary, that any meaning in it is the meaning we impose upon it. I thought I believed it. But being unable to conceive and losing the children we were able to have, and watching that tragedy burn a swath through my life...
I used to believe it, but now I know it. There is nothing just about what happened to us.
Maybe I'm surrendering. Not to the despair, but to the idea that struggle is not enough. Ironic, since the idea that hard work isn't enough is something I've had to explain to my students over and over again. Finally learning my own lesson, I guess. So I've internalized it, this idea that just wanting it and working hard for it is no guarantee. I've surrendered to the idea that the world does not care about my problems. People do, but the world at large does not. The world moves on whether I grieve or not. And it is not going to wait for me.
S has been struggling a lot with the sheer unfairness of all of this. So much effort, so much money, time, life lost to it, all for something other people can even do by accident. There's even a TV show, "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant." Struggling with the cold, hard slap of the world. A world that moves on, that does not wait, that watches our grief with a lightless, unblinking eye.
A world that just is, and is not just.