Mrs. Coulter’s Life Line:

“Ring the bells that still will ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.”

- Leonard Cohen

My glass is always half full, but I have a tendency to guard it carefully to make sure no one sneaks in and tips it over. My optimism wasn’t always so guarded, however; Motherhood changed that for me. My second pregnancy went exactly as planned, resulting in a beautiful and perfect baby boy named Owen. I wish I could say the same about my first pregnancy. I lost my first baby because she was born with a terminal brain defect, and even though I never really got to know her, I still feel a profound loss. My life up until that point had been charmed; the pieces always seemed to fall perfectly into place, and I was too naïve to fathom that someday my luck might run out. The day I found out I was going to lose my first child, I walked into the doctor’s office with an unwavering belief that I was invincible, and an hour later I walked out an entirely different person. My illusion of perfection had evaporated, leaving me to process a hopelessness I’d never experienced before. I spent many, many dark days searching my soul for the courage to hope again. The optimist in me knew that I had to find a way to live in my new reality, but repairing my shattered glass half-full meant picking up the pieces and moving on, which was anything but easy. And that’s when I found Leonard Cohen’s lines, “Ring the bells that still will ring/forget your perfect offering/there is a crack, a crack in everything/that’s how the light gets in.” His lines were the superglue and duct tape I needed to begin the process of repairing my glass half-full. I had to “ring the bells that still would ring,” and forget my “perfect offering,” which was the perfect life I had known before losing my first baby. My world and my heart were broken, or “cracked,” when I lost her, but when Owen was born, my dark world was once again filled with light. It’s not a perfect light, but it’s a light that shines through the cracks and fills my world with a hope I once thought I’d lost forever.