One of the poet Robert Frost's more famous works is a poem titled The road not taken (though many people, including myself, mistakenly think the title is The road less taken).
I think I heard it the first time in the 90's in a movie called The Dead Poets society. It has several verses but them most often quoted are the last three lines of the poem.
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
I think the most wide-spread interpretation of the poem is that it is about promoting individualism and non-conformity. Some say that the author Frost meant nothing like that but the beauty about poetry, and music, and art, and all the subjective things is all that really matters is the interpretation of the individual.
For me it has always been about choices, and chances, and being brave enough to choose the harder but more rewarding road. Looking back on my life I'm pretty proud to say that, when it came to the most pretty hard choices, I have taken the harder road and it has in fact made all the difference.
I walked away from a place that was easy and safe (but not happy) and started my life over at 31 with a clean, if a little bruised, slate. I moved away from my childhood, my mother, and everything I had known to a place where I only knew my sister and her family because I just felt that this was were my future was. I turned down a lot of men who were fine, maybe even great, but not the one for me and chose to be alone rather than ever settle. I walked away from a man whom I thought at the time was the love of my life (but not a healthy love) though it broke my heart to do so. I opened my heart one last time, and changed my previous habits, and met your father who, next to you and your brother, is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me.
I look back and time and time again I'm proud of my choices, and blessed by the outcomes, because they have all lead to here. To your father, your brother, and now to you.
So the other day when I was thinking about you and about this place we find ourselves in I was thinking about this poem, and the roads traveled, and I came to realize...
I didn't chose this road we find ourselves on. Nor would I.
In fact, most of the roads that I have been on that have resulted in great shifts in my perception, altered my character, have not been ones that I have chosen. Rather ones I find myself on quite unwillingly.
Most involve sickness, and death, usually of a loved one, and I did not chose the road, but it's one I'm on it all the same.
So now I'm thinking where's the poem for the roads we didn't chose to be on? Where's the great wisdom? What now Mr. Frost?
No answer....didn't think so.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
Well I in this case I would just rather chose the easy road if it's all the same to you. I'm OK with no personal growth, no great shift in my understanding, or change in character. If it's all the same I'd rather take the well traveld road this time.
I didn't chose this road, I wouldn't chose this road, but I'm on it all the same.
So then what is it that makes a difference with the roads we didn't chose to be on? Do we raise our fist at the heavens and curse our luck? Do we cry out at the unfairness of it all. Do we curse and condemn everyone who isn't forced onto this road like we have been?
Or maybe is it? When we find ourselves on these roads that we didn't chose, that wouldn't chose, it's about acceptance and about traveling it with courage, and grace, and hope.
I did not chose this road that we find ourselves on, nor would I, but we are on it all the same. I accept it and go forward and maybe, just maybe, that is what makes all the difference.
I will be giving birth to you in just a few hours and I don't know what today will bring.
It's your father and my greatest wish and hope that you will be born, and the Dr's will find your condition is not as serious as they thought. That we will have you home in a few days and will wait a few months till your bigger and stronger for your surgery. Then we will all laugh and shake our heads over these months of worry, and tears, and preparation (and your Dad will be mad at me when he has to carry my enormous suitcase that I didn't end up needing back up the stairs). :)
Or maybe you are a serious as they think and we will be in for a long scary time that will eventually lead you home and hopefully well.
Maybe we will have to face the unthinkable and not be bringing you home and somehow your father and I will have to find someway to exist without you though I don't see how that is possible.
Whatever happens tomorrow I have no regrets and I wouldn't change a thing. Equal only to your brother, being your mother has been the greatest privilege of my life and loving you is worth anything, and everything it cost.
There are so many people vested in your outcome, your father, your grandmothers, your aunts, uncles, cousins, and extended family. Our dearest and best of friends, the Dr's, nurses, and 100's of other staff. There are even internet
strangers friends who will never meet you, who are praying for you and keeping you in their thoughts. I don't want to take anything away from them. They are all so important in your care and future.
But for just this moment I want to be selfish and it be just about you, and I.
I am your mother. I have willed you into being. I have carried you in my womb. Of all the realtionship you will have in your life there will be none other like the one you have with me.
We are on this road that we did not chose together you and I my love.
I will not leave you. I will never stop fighting for you. I will never quit.. I will never give up hope. I will love you, unconditionally for always.