Sometimes I have to force myself into hope. I’m not always depressed -- I’m actually happy most of the time. I have a wonderful life, fabulous friends, a great family, a job I love and a community that I can give to and that takes care of me.

But I have a hole in my life. Sometimes it doesn’t seem too big; other times it’s so big I wonder if I can ever climb out of it. My full life is missing a husband and a family. I’m just as childless as a couple married for years without success, but I have nobody to share the pain and disappointment with.

Thank God I do have so many other wonderful parts of my life and I believe that my husband and children will come. I just wish I had a time frame, and maybe even a name.

I was at a wedding last week and had one of those wonderful evenings that gives me hope. The couple getting married knew each other for 13 years and dated through high school and college. For reasons beyond their control they were not able to marry until now. They struggled for the past few years, knowing they wanted to build a life with each other and not able to see the dream come true. Here they were, surrounded by family and close friends, on a magnificent, warm November day that only Californians can expect. I watched him coming towards her with the men dancing around him and the women surrounding her laughing and crying as the couple saw each other for the first time.

As they stood under the chupah with the rabbi who helped them through their struggles, everyone smiled and cried a little more. We danced for hours. Weddings can be hard for me to go to. Not that I don’t wish the couple happiness, but there is always the nagging thought, Why not me? There was none of that at this wedding. This one gave me hope and belief that one day, with God's help, I will also find the right man for me.

 

We all have hardship; it’s how we react to it and work through it that defines us.

Everyone has challenge in his or her life. Our sages tell us that our tests are tailor made for us. If everyone would put their problems in a big pile and had to go back in and pick one, they would choose theirs. The most special people I know, the ones I look up to the most, happen to be individuals who have had tremendous pain and struggle. That common denominator is not a coincidence. They worked through the challenge and came out that much better for it.

We all have hardship; it’s how we react to it and work through it that defines us. I have other pains in my life, but feeling alone in the world, with only God at my side, is my biggest. I have to remind myself all the time that it's my reaction to the test that will define who I am when it's over.

Unfortunately I’m not alone in this pain and I am very much aware that I have it so much better than so many of my peers. Not everyone has the support system I do, or the great job I can lose myself in. I am blessed in countless ways. As I’ve said before, God in His infinite wisdom has put me on this path; He is running the world, my world, and knows exactly what’s going on. And that’s why I have to keep the hope alive.

I have to keep praying and doing as much good as I can to make sure I’m on the radar for everyone to remember me. It’s so easy to get lost in it all, to get depressed, lonely, sad, and angry. I need to work on being hopeful and happy, and thoughtful of others, to not dwell on the part of my life that I feel is bad (God doesn’t think it is; He put me here to grow). I have hope that one day (may it be soon!) I will be the one walking down the aisle to meet the man I will be one with forever.