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A Mother Without A Child


It will soon be 9 April.It is a special date for me. It is not anybody’s birthday nor my wedding aniversary or the day I graduated. It is the day a baby should have been born.

When I started working in the last investment bank I worked for at the beginning of the millenium, I took a position on the trading room. There was another lady, who had been hired a couple of months before, to do the same work. Both of us were young, ambicious, hard working and smart (well…she was a bit smarter than I, I have to admit!). In an investment bank, most of the times, that type of situation starts with a fierce competition and ends up with one of the employees leaving. I could almost hear it in the trading room loud speakers every time I looked at the grin on the face of my (almost) all male colleagues: “Ladies and gentlemen, in row seven, window side, we are proud to present you “The Cat Fight”, starting in just a minute”.

Somehow, against all the odds and expectations, we soon made an unspoken pact: we would work together instead of against each other, for our common benefit and treating each other fairly. This association came out to be extremely successful for many years to come. We became extremely close. I started thinking of Tracy as my little English sister (she was just a bit younger than me) and I know she cared about me equally.

Tracy was a mother in the making at heart, all her life she had wanted to have kids. She became pregnant and we all were thrilled. We would spend hours thinking of where we would take the little baby on holidays and I would spend hours browsing dresses for her baby. I know she was going to be a wonderful Mommy. Of course my husband and I had longed been signed up as godparents. When the time came, I received a call at home. Tracy and her husband were heading to the hospital, the baby was on its way.

Some hours later, I received a call from her wonderful hubby: the baby died during delivery and my dearest friend had been struggling to survive herself for some hours.

At the crack of dawn, I went to hospital to live one of the saddest days of my life and one I will never forget. There, I met a Mother without a Child. Tracy was holding on to the beautiful baby she had so long waited for. She was holding her in such a loving way while holding her breath that I though that, if nature was perfect and really wise, that should have been enough to bring the baby back into life. There were no words that could give her any comfort. Motherhood had fainted away without giving her the chance to enjoy it for a minute.

Some years later I started having children of my own. While we were still friends I felt (and I think she felt the same way) that nature was betraying us, by giving me easily what she so much deserved and was denied. I moved to Hong Kong, she moved to another country and little by little, we lost touch. Our different experiences in Motherhood and how unfair nature had been, was driving us apart.

Tracy taught me what Motherhood is about something we mothers live unsaid. It is not whether you stay at home to take care of your children or you go straight back to work, or whether you give them organic food or already made food. It is about being able to hold your breath for eternity, if that would give your child some comfort, without even realising it.

Sometimes I look at her Facebook page, I enjoy seeing she has been in some exotic place on holidays. Tracy looks as beautiful as always.

I do not think she will ever read this post but, if she does, I would like her to know that I wrote it because I think she, a Mother without a Child, has one or two things to teach to us Mothers with Children.  And that I still think of her little angel every time I point a butterfly to my children.

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