My husband and I are approaching our tenth wedding anniversary and in those ten years he has kept precisely two letters from me. The first was while we were in school applying for jobs, the same jobs in some cases. The rejection letters were unrelenting at times and after a while they took a toll on what was already a very stressful time in my life. It was then that the first letter disappeared. I don't believe I even actually saw that letter. At some later date he informed me of its contents and that was that. I was a little miffed but after his explanation forgiveness was imminent.
The second letter arrived just months ago. That letter had to have been a lot heavier. It wasn't surrounded in sea of rejection. This letter stood alone. It was the letter from the geneticist who worked with Eli and our family. Since he gave that letter to me I have read it exactly one time. I gleaned from it what I knew, that our Eli was perfect in his absence of both kidneys and his bladder, and that after reviewing Eli's medical records and the family history that we provided, which included our first son's Potter's Syndrome,...we were given an eight percent chance of recurrence. Numbers tell us so much, age, weight, height, identification, intelligence and for me a bonafide risk of having another baby with a fatal genetic condition. Eight percent. I've put alot of thought into the number eight since receiving that letter. Eating eight M&Ms versus eight donuts are two completely different things. Eight out of one hundred, which is what eight percent represents, is a relatively small number. The odds of one being in the ninety-two unaffected population are stellar. But tell that to one of the eight affected. Better yet, tell that to me, who was initially given a three to five percent chance of recurrence. Me, who has two of five children affected thus far. Let's put it this way, I don't buy lottery tickets.
When life sends me bad news I am grateful for a husband that tucks it away for another day.