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Delayed Wished Grantification

Is there an expiration date on wishes? For instance, if I wish on a star tonight, at what point do I write off the wish as not coming true? One week? One month? A couple of years? And, if by chance, that wish does come true albeit five years down the road, do I believe that it was simply delayed wish grantification and that the two events (the wish and the fulfillment) are entirely connected?

I mean, if you believe in wishes at all.


I’ve always made wishes, but I certainly kicked up the sheer amount of magical thinking once diagnosed with infertility. The end of a cycle (especially the end of a pregnancy) is so exceptionally painful emotionally that wishes are stand-ins for begging off the torture. I wasn’t just wishing for a child. I was wishing for the hellaciousness of cycling to end.

That wish, of course, came true. It took two years and a bunch of treatments to come true, but it came true nonetheless. Was it the wish and if so, which one (I made the same wish so many times, but on a multitude of objects such as first stars, train tracks, and 12:34 on a clock)? If it wasn’t the wish, would I have the twins today even if I had never sent those thoughts into the universe?


A few weeks ago, we were at the National Mall and we swung by Yoko Ono’s wish tree. As luck would have it, the box was out of paper therefore, I only got to view others’ wishes. There were earnest requests for dogs, pleas for marriage, and a wish for a cure for Alzheimer’s so a grandmother could know her granddaughter. It is powerful to be standing in front of this tangible reminder of so many hearts laid bare.


My aunt once told me (I will add that this should be taken with a grain of salt because she also informed me in the same conversation that 95% of the English language actually comes from Hebrew and that doesn’t sound quite right) that the word for luck in Hebrew–mazel–is actually an acronym. Hebrew does not have vowels, therefore, if you write this word in Hebrew, it is composed from three letters: mem, zayin, and lamed. The mem stands for the word “makom” or place. The zayin stands for the word “z’man” or time. The lamed stands for the word “la’asot” or to do. Therefore, luck is about being in the right place at the right time doing the right thing.

Pretty cool even if it’s wrong.

I like this vision of luck–that some of it is chance (place and time) and some of it is active (doing), therefore, it’s a balance. And because it’s a balance, when we wish, we need to keep doing. The wish may come true in the right place and time–that stuff we can’t control–but we need to actively keep trying to fulfill our dreams if we want them to actually happen.

Or, we need others to help fulfill our dreams. I believe in some cases we make our own luck, simply by not only being in the right place at the right time and doing the right thing, but because someone else took that ember and fanned it a bit to pass the fire to the next person in line to help. On that note, completely unrelated to infertility, I give you this wish I saw on the tree as well as a link to her art which I found through a quick google search. I hope her wish comes true.


How crazy wonderful would it be if an art dealer was reading this right now and fell in love with Anna Bieniak’s art and she became a famous artist simply by making the wish and having someone else pass the ember until it reached someone who could fulfill it?

I can only hope that someone else, wishing for a child, has others who step in once they hear her wish and try to help her make that wish come true. There are small ways we can help one another, pass along information, make connections. I think blogging is simply a larger and wider net of wish making, especially since the words don’t disappear into the ether. We hear each other’s wishes and sometimes even grant them.

I may do this often (wishes are such a recurring theme in my life), but bringing the spirit of Yoko Ono’s tree to you: please leave your wish in the comment box of this post.

55 comments

1 emma { 08.28.08 at 5:55 am }

I wish that my fourth year of marriage (7 years of knowing each other and 6 years of being together but who’s counting) will be as wonderful at the last three. And of course, I’m hoping to have someone join us before this time next year…even if I’m on a break.

2 Lisa { 08.28.08 at 6:00 am }

As I sit here, the day after IVF #6 was officially cancelled, I am struck by how much I LOVE that definition of Mazel. Glenn, and others, keep telling me that “we just aren’t having any luck” when it comes to cycling and reaching the eventual goal. And, I’ve been struggling with this statement because it feels like something grander than just not having luck because something didn’t work. Adding dimensions, time and place, to the act of doing makes much more sense to me. That makes it, in a way, grander. Please thank your aunt for me!

3 Murgdan { 08.28.08 at 6:01 am }

Well. I wish to get pregnant with a healthy happy baby. I hope the wish tree is more effective than the magic 8 ball–which informed me I would not get pregnant.

But I love this post. It’s beautiful…as is that wish tree!

4 Isn't it pretty to think so { 08.28.08 at 6:12 am }

i wish for all of our wishes to come true.

5 Waiting Amy { 08.28.08 at 7:20 am }

I wish for an easy journey cross-country with two premature babies and a grumpy FIL. I wish for it to go smoothly, with no spells, no monitor alarms, and no disasters. No fighting between the adults would be nice too, but I’m too pragmatic to wish for that!

6 ~Hollie { 08.28.08 at 7:30 am }

Beautiful Post, Beautiful tree.
To me a wish = prayer
I pray to have all the blessings that God intended me to have. I pray to have the patience and wisdom to pray for the right things He has intended for me.
I pray that the decisions I make impact the world in a positive way.
I pray that others know that God isn’t religion in a box, but a loving entity that can touch your spirit like nothing else can.
I pray that others, especially IFers, know HIS peace sooner rather than later.

7 Lori { 08.28.08 at 7:39 am }

First, I love this post. I love the mazel story and you bringing an artist into people’s consciousness.

Second, my wish is to make a living as a blogger/writer.

8 AnotherDreamer { 08.28.08 at 8:02 am }

I wish to be a mother someday, either biologically or through adoption.

I wish it were as simple as it sounds.

9 Starr Morgan { 08.28.08 at 8:05 am }

All my wishes are always that I get pregnant and have a healthy baby. I am tired of wishing things that arent coming true so I am going to wish for something that I can actually see happen. I need a success! So, looking out my window at my lawn that is almost brown, flowers that are drooping, vegetables that are barely surviving, I wish for rain! And since the sky is cloudy right now and it kind of ‘feels’ like rain, I think this one might come true!

10 N { 08.28.08 at 8:06 am }

I love this post, and I love that definition.

I wish for our family to be able to grow — both in new additions, and possibly in amending rifts — in a way that is happy and healthy and low in stress.

11 ms. c { 08.28.08 at 8:22 am }

You know- you are just a wonderful person. This post was amazing, and written only as you can write. But then- THEN- to help Anna out like that? There are just no words. Anna has just stubled on lots of mazel.

I ususally wish big things, sweeping things, but today’s wish is simple: I’m travelling to Europe on Sunday and I wish to have easy flights and a restful trip with the baby. (I would wish for the 2 weeks with my in-laws to be an easy time, but THAT may be asking for too much!)

Thanks for this post, Mel. One of the best, in my opinion.

12 Leah { 08.28.08 at 8:24 am }

I hope that I (and my children) will stick around long enough for me to become a Grandmother. I know this is a loooong way off, but it is something that I desperately wish for.

Is it wrong for me, in response to such an eloquent post and gorgeous pictures of the tree, to wish for a Peanut Buster Parfait from DQ? Probably. So let’s scratch that one and just stick with the Grandmother one.

13 Leslee { 08.28.08 at 8:42 am }

I wish that there will come a day when I can watch my husband delight in being a father. He’s going to be a wonderful father…

Mel, this tree is gorgeous. I’m gonna have to write that on my Someday List.

Leslee
babyattheend

14 annacyclopediaisworkingonit { 08.28.08 at 8:49 am }

I wish for a chubby baby girl who looks like me.

I wish for courage to face all the uncertainty in this life and to follow my heart, even though it’s harder than following my head.

I wish for peace and joy for everyone in our community, and everyone in the whole wide world.

15 Tally { 08.28.08 at 8:52 am }

My wish – to continue to have courage to meet the challenges before us.

Right now, that means Clom.id, next month it will be IUI. Every day, it is the courage to get out of bed and face the sun.

Oh, and I wish to have a little time to blog again – soon! :p

16 Martha { 08.28.08 at 8:58 am }

I wish to leave the world a better place for our children. I wish to be a kinder person, not only to my family, friends, and strangers, but also to myself.
You are a Mensch, Mel, great post.

17 Jen J { 08.28.08 at 9:19 am }

What a BEAUTIFUL POST! Thank you for that!

I wish that this cycle, our last paid for by insurance, is a fruitful one. I have spent the last week wishing for twins, but I will rejoice if we only get one baby. More than pregnancy, though, I wish for motherhood.

18 Kristin { 08.28.08 at 9:22 am }

I wish that my FIL completely recovers from cancer.

19 Care { 08.28.08 at 9:36 am }

Beautiful post – I love the wishing tree. My wish is to find a partner. Someone to walk beside me. Someone to hold me. Someone to share the joy and the pain. As much as I love my children, they cannot fill that void, and I’m tired of going it alone.

20 Tara { 08.28.08 at 10:03 am }

I wish that my friend who secretly did IVF 3 months ago and didn’t tell anyone (including me) can find some way out of the darkness that comes after a failed cycle.

I also wish that I didn’t find out because her husband confided in mine and that I am not supposed to know so I cannot offer her any solice.

21 Jaymee { 08.28.08 at 10:26 am }

I wish to see the day when surrogacy is no longer a dirty word tied to Baby M.

I wish to be a mother.

I wish all these other wishes come true.

That is a beautiful post. Thank you.

22 C { 08.28.08 at 10:31 am }

Now that my baby is finally here, I wish that our finances will allow me to stay home full time and cherish my wonderful blessing.

And if it’s not too greedy… I’ll take a second baby, please…

23 Piccinigirl { 08.28.08 at 10:57 am }

what a beautiful post and prayer for each of us.

I wish that everyone’s wishes comes true. Esp about babies, I want all those baby wishes floating out there, I want them to COME TRUE.

for me , I wish that our first vacation as a family this weekend is everything I hope it will be. No more and no less.

thank you for sharing and for helping Anna…you truly ROCK!

24 Jen { 08.28.08 at 11:10 am }

I wish this every day. That the Universe will become fair and that all these wonderful women I’ve met through the internet get the babies they truly do deserve.

25 Jendeis { 08.28.08 at 12:11 pm }

“I wish, more than anything, more than life, more than the moon…”

Well, we all know what I wish. I wish a lot of things.

26 Shelby { 08.28.08 at 12:32 pm }

Lovely post. I was raised around slightly superstitious women, so that whenever I blow off all the fluff from a dandelion, I make a wish. I did this 12 years ago after meeting my husband…that he would be the one and this came true.

Since then, every dandelion that I’m lucky enough to make bare (I have asthma!), I wish for a child who will feel and share in the love that my husband and I have created together, started from the day that I first wished on that dandelion 12 years ago. I figure if it worked once, it might just work again.

You better believe I pick fields clean! (It’s a great weeding technique) :)

Thanks for your beautiful post.

27 LJ { 08.28.08 at 1:17 pm }

Even as a Paul fan, I can love the Yoko sentiment. I think you know what I’m wishing for, but a healthy baby soon would be faaaaaaaantastic.

28 Trace { 08.28.08 at 1:51 pm }

I wish that our FET is successful, or we get chosen by an expectant mother VERY quickly. I also wish everyone wishing here gets their wishes granted.

29 Io { 08.28.08 at 2:19 pm }

What a nice post. How wonderful would it be if she does become a famous artist.

I wish that I get a 2ww. I thought I’d be able to start my IVF cycle next month and instead I’m waiting. Good or bad, I just want life to move forward.

30 Marie { 08.28.08 at 2:46 pm }

My wish it for my husband and I to remain close and connected through the battles we face while trying to add to our family.

31 astral { 08.28.08 at 2:59 pm }

That is a really cool way of explaining luck. I wish that my family continues to be healthy, my marriage stays strong and wonderful and that our wishes for children are granted.

My husband says bad luck is like good luck – it eventually runs out.

32 momofonefornow { 08.28.08 at 3:03 pm }

I wish that at the end of this 2ww I will be pregnant. I also wish that all of those ladies out these that are grappling with the pain of a miscarriage can find some peace.

33 Vee { 08.28.08 at 5:09 pm }

I Love that tree!

I wish they find a cure for Leiomyosarcoma very soon.

I wish to be a mother.

34 kccat { 08.28.08 at 5:28 pm }

Wow, I really like the idea of that tree. What a very powerful sight. How lucky you got to experience it in person and walk away with an experience.

35 Jess { 08.28.08 at 6:04 pm }

I wish that my friend’s son, D would have doctors who know how to treat him, a successful surgery if it’s what he needs, and a life that’s as normal as can be…if he needs a shunt, there will be more surgeries, but I hope that if that’s the case, that’s the worst of the worst he ever has to encounter.

I would rather wish that they all didn’t have to deal with any of this, but it’s just plain not realistic.

36 B { 08.28.08 at 6:37 pm }

I wish to hold a baby we made in my arms that can live.

37 Ally { 08.28.08 at 9:31 pm }

Mel, what a beautiful post. It makes me teary-eyed when I read it. Thank you, as always, for giving us your thoughts.

I wish for so much.

I wish for a healthy, happy child.
I wish to see my husband be a father.
I wish for strength and peace on my journey.
I wish to help others as I have been helped.
I wish we could all receive our wishes.

38 Arpee { 08.28.08 at 10:01 pm }

just want to humbly report that I completed all ICLW blogs!

39 Cassandra { 08.28.08 at 10:29 pm }

Mel, your wish post was worth the wait!

As I formally stated a couple of days ago, I wish to get pregnant and for that pregnancy to result in a healthy live baby.

40 battynurse { 08.29.08 at 12:33 am }

I don’t know what to wish for. I know I want to be a mom but there are so many wishes in that also. Wishes for a healthy pregnancy, carrying to term, no complications, healthy baby. I guess it’s like the little kid on Christmas, I want it all. I could wish for things to be alright with a friend who is looking at a possible really bad diagnosis. I guess that would be my wish.

41 Queenie. . . { 08.29.08 at 5:00 am }

I wish that I will be rewarded for having the courage to walk away from a job that I have long loved, but which is all-consuming, by discovering another path that makes wildly happy and satiated in a way that I can currently scarcely imagine.

And of course I wish for a happy, healthy child. But that goes without saying, doesn’t it?

42 theclam { 08.29.08 at 7:26 am }

GREAT post!

“My wish is that every lady gets her hearts desire realised and running over…”

43 Kim { 08.29.08 at 8:30 am }

Beautiful!

My wish is to be a mother that will make L proud someday (along with her siblings, if possible).

44 Hope2morrow { 08.29.08 at 7:43 pm }

I wish and pray, through my journey of infertility, that I will learn and grasp onto all that I am supposed to, despite the pain and uncertainty and fear and negativity.

45 Suzanna Catherine { 08.30.08 at 12:50 am }

What a lovely post, Mel! I had never heard of the Wishing Tree. It’s really beautiful — and a beautiful sentiment.

My wish? It came true many years ago when my two adopted babies came into my life. So, if I may wish once more, I wish everyone who has posted here will receive their own personal baby wish.

46 Bea { 08.30.08 at 8:07 am }

How crazy-wonderful would it be? Such a delicious thought.

As for my wish… I wish I knew how to deal with people better. Specific people. Maybe also people in general.

Bea

47 JamieD { 08.30.08 at 10:52 am }

I have never heard of Yoko Ono’s wish tree! I can’t imagine how special it would be to read people’s wishes. Almost like peeking inside their heart.

More than a baby, I wish for my husband and I have a happy and fun life together. We have been down some tough roads and whether we are blessed with a child or not I wish for us to be happy with our life together.

48 Searching { 08.30.08 at 10:59 am }

I wish that all the babies and mommas will stay safe once the hurricane hits.

49 Leah. { 08.30.08 at 4:30 pm }

I wish he will ask in eight months and that all my dreams will come true because of it.

50 Lisa { 08.30.08 at 4:54 pm }

I wish that so many more of the wishes in the world that should come true, do come true . . .

51 Malky B. { 08.30.08 at 8:56 pm }

Mel – all languages originate from Hebrew it was the first. I’d believe your aunt.

I wish my husband has a full recovery speedily and that we can conceive and deliver a healthy baby/babies without any more medical intervention (aside from regular OB care).

52 luna { 09.02.08 at 12:04 am }

what a lovely post and tree.

I wish for our dream for a family to be realized soon.

53 bendingbackwards { 09.03.08 at 5:36 pm }

First, what a beautiful post.

Here are my wishes:
*That E and I are as happy in the next 9 years as we were in the first 9.
*That E can delight in being a father they way he has delighted in being a husband.

And for all of you… I wish for you, that your wishes may come true.

54 Sunny { 09.07.08 at 12:52 pm }

I am so late to your post. I am late in everything lately. My wish, that my little ones will make it. My marriage will grow to joy instead of complacency.

55 My big announcement, told via diary entries { 12.08.11 at 9:01 am }

[...] 2008. Dear Diary. Today I publicly declared myself a Writer, in response to Melissa’s Wishing Tree post. I’m still new at this and I don’t really know how bloggers make a living at [...]

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