When I was a little girl I held out such hope and wonder for the prize that lay hidden with in my box of Cracker Jacks. Hope that inside the box I would find a decoder ring. I carefully ripped the top of the box off, dug my little hand into the caramel covered goodness, and pulled out the prize envelope. Only to find that I had received another sticker, comic book, or plastic frog. That decoder ring eluded me and I began to think that Crack Jacks lied to me. That they never put a decoder ring in their boxes of yummy goodness and it was just an advertising ploy to sell more Cracker Jacks.
The decoder ring eludes me to this day. Every now and then I buy a few boxes just to see if that decoder ring is inside. It never is and the plastic frog has been replaced with cheap stick on tattoos. Is the decoder ring a lie or is it truly a prize one can find in the bottom of their Cracker Jacks box. We will never know until we peel the top off to find out.
This morning I awoke to yet another Facebook post about a friend being pregnant. This time those words “I’m pregnant” stung and cut through my heart. Why you ask? Its simple this person led me to believe that they could never get pregnant. Because her ovaries and fallopian tubes were filled with scar tissue. I believed her and felt bad for her. An when I found myself in the same infertile boat, I leaned on her for support. Little did I know she was taking my words and twisting them into her own story, using them for her own benefit, and now she is proclaiming a miracle.
By days end her status was filled with hundreds of well wishes, prayers, and congratulations. No one stopped to question the fact that she lied. For years she has told people that it would be impossible for her to get pregnant, let alone carry that child to term. Here she was telling all of us that she is now with child, a child that is a miracle. I am happy for her and glad that she is pregnant.
However on the same coin I wish she would come forward and tell the truth. Because now she is providing hundreds of women like myself with false hope. I was to upset to go into work this morning. So I called A and told him what I had found out. He claimed bull shit right away. There I was crying in the arms of a friend and questioning where my prize was. I told A ” I want a prize god damn it. I lived through hell and what do I get nothing.” He looked at me and said “I hate it when you cry.” Followed by “AmandaJean your prize is better than a baby. Your prize is your life. You are walking, talking, living proof that people can and will survive a pulmonary embolism, stroke, and cancer. An that babes is the best prize of all.”
A is right, life is the best prize of all. He also reminded me that not everyone has a friend who offers to carry a child for her. That not everyone has a friend who will endure weeks of hormone injections to give her eggs away. I’d say I am one lucky woman. My decoder ring doesn’t lie inside a box of caramel coated popcorn, it lies within the hearts of two women, and those women are giving me the greatest prize of all. They are providing me with HOPE that one day I to will be a mom.
At the end of the day I do not need to lie to make myself better or bigger. Some people make gashes out of paper cuts, mountains out of mole hills, and I choose to make the world better by sharing the hell I went through. My five-year old self still holds out hope that inside a box of Cracker Jacks lies a decoder ring. Maybe one day my son or daughter will rip off the box top, reach inside, and come running to me saying “Mommy I found a decoder ring.”