We’re Still Us

t&tjokelarson

Tonight, our dear friend came over for dinner. He mentioned that he was planning on taking a trip to Iceland this summer. There are few things that Tim and I get more excited about than Iceland — we’ll talk about it with anyone who will listen. We traveled there in the summer of 2011 and it was the vacation of a lifetime. We, of course, had to immediately show our friend the photo slideshow we had made of the trip.

I hadn’t watched the slideshow in years. My first thought upon viewing it was, Who are these people? The couple in the video looked relaxed and carefree. They looked insanely happy.

They looked madly in love.

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I am undeniably still in love with Tim, but I can’t remember a time when we last looked that happy. We looked as if all that mattered in the world was each other. And it’s not like we were untouched by sadness during that trip — in fact, Tim’s childhood best friend had just died suddenly a few days before. I remember stopping on a black sand beach outside the town of Vik so Tim could drop a picture of his friend into the waves. We watched and cried together as it drifted out to sea. But even with that loss, I remember the trip as a time of sweetness and light.

To me, Iceland belongs to the time of Before. Before we lost my mom and our babies, before needles, endless doctors visits and drugs whose names I can’t pronounce. Of course, many happy things have also happened in the years since that trip — the most notable being the birth of our sweet Lettie. Despite all the good we’ve been blessed with, I’ve noticed that over the last few years our love has started to have a heaviness to it. What used to feel buoyant is now weighted down by our shared loss.

But here’s the thing I realized tonight. Although my first thought after seeing that slideshow was, Who are these people?, my next thought was Oh! That’s still us! And I started to feel excited. I began to feel hopeful for the first time in weeks.

Underneath all the grief and sadness, we are still those same two people who are madly in love. Our circumstances may have changed, but we didn’t. I believe that the core of who we are as a couple is still solid. We might not feel that giddy Icelandic happiness this very minute, but we’ve felt it before, and that alone is promise enough that we can feel it again. There’s no getting around the fact that we’re in a season of grief right now, but you never know:

A season of light could be just around the corner.

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38 thoughts on “We’re Still Us

  1. Beautiful. This struggle is only one part of your story, hun. The love you guys share in these photos speaks volumes. Thank you for sharing this. Continuous blessings for your love!

  2. I love the photo of you two lying in the grass looking at each other. This is a heavy journey, but you’re taking it together.

  3. This is a beautiful post. I began crying while reading this, because I can relate so well to how this journey can take the fire out of your relationship. I feel the same way when I look at our pictures from before we started TTC. WHO ARE THOSE PEOPLE? While it’s a sad thought, you said it perfectly. It’s also our hope to remember and recapture who we were before infertility happened to us.

  4. This post is so beautiful. It brought tears to my eyes. I’m so glad you can look back and say we are still these people, because those people look madly and deeply in love.
    Side- we’ve always wanted to go to Iceland, I think that’s so cool that you guys did!
    Xo

  5. Beautiful pictures! And I feel the same way when looking at old pictures…. mostly when I look at our wedding pictures. Sometimes it’s like looking at strangers. But I guess that is bound to happen over time. Anyway I hope your season of happiness and light is right around the corner. Hugs.

    1. You are right, it is bound to happen over time to all couples, no matter what the experience is. If only we could all always be as happy as we were on our wedding days! What a beautiful world that would be.

  6. Gorgeous photos, the love really shines through. Lets hope that light appears soon. I said to a friend just the other day (a one that really understands) that I wanted to feel like me again and how I wish I could take a holiday from all of this, your post really reflects a lot of what I am feeling too. Hey we need to keep looking for that light!!! x

  7. Aawwwwww these pics are beautiful and you guys do look SO in love, particularly in that last one. So sweet. I am so jealous you did Iceland. I’ve done a lot of travel but have never been there. I bet it is like nothing else you’ve ever seen. One day, one day. Maybe a post children day lol Sending you lots of hugs over the ocean. x

  8. I love this post! For me, our trip to Thailand and Cambodia makes me feel the same way – when we were blissfully in love and before all of our losses, and our string of medical appointment, procedures and surgeries. I look back at those photos and sometimes it feels like a lifetime ago. I have a burning desire to go back because of the innocence we had at that time, but I know it just wouldn’t be the same and I don’t want to mark those memories with all the hurt we’ve been through, so for now, I will not go back.
    Oh, and I want to go to Iceland even more with every photo you have shared! 🙂

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