Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Weight Before the Door

First off, welcome all from ICLW. Brief background on me: after 2 years of TTC, we took the plunge and proceeded with IVF. From this cycle, we ended up with 8 embryos. 6 were frozen, 2 were transferred. I'm currently in the two week wait.

In an effort to distraction myself from analyzing every twinge and pang during this wait, I've been reflecting on my own journey so far and how it has changed Grey and me. Yesterday, as I was going through some old boxes, I came upon our wedding programs. The trip down memory lane was quite a bit of fun (we had a small wedding on a lovely summer day in June 2004. Overall, it was a wonderful day).  While flipping through the program, I came upon a story that we put at the end of it.  This story was collected in Morocoo in 1908 by Feridah Kirby Green, who was the daughter of a British Minister. I first heard the story while taking an African Storytelling course as an undergraduate and I fell in love with it's lesson immediately.

The Weight Before the Door

There lived once a man so rich that he measured his money by the bushel, as we poverty-stricken ones measure barley or bran. One day, he fell very ill, and, feeling that his last hour had come, he called his son and gave over to him all his wealth and property. He said to him, "My son, I leave your welfare in the hands of the Almighty, and to the care of such-and-such a one, who is my friend. Listen to his words, as if they were mine. I have instructed him to find a bride for you when you are ready to marry."

Having blessed his son, the man died.

After a time, the young man desired to marry, so, according to his father's last word, he went to the his father's friend, his guardian and informed him. The Guardian said, "It is well," and he set out and found a young woman. He made all necessary preparations, and caused a suitable feast to be prepared. The morning before the carrying of the bride to the groom, the Guardian called the young man and siad to him, "Son of my friend, I have found you a bride. But before we may know that she is the one destined for you by Allah, it is necessary that you should do this. Tonight, after the bride has been brought to your house and she is seated in your room awaiting you, and before you go to her, I shall cause a heavy weight to be placed before the door of the room. You are to attempt to remove the weight. If she is the fitting wife for you, you will succeed; if you do not succeed, you will know that she is not for you and you should divorce her tomorrow without so much as seeing her face." 

The young man wondered about this, but said, "It is well."

That night, the bride was brought with much pomp and rejoicing, and the bride was taken to the man's apartment and seated there in a rich robe to await him. Her eyes were closed and a veil covered her face.

The bridegroom, after tarrying a while in the mosque with young men of his acquaintance, came up to the door of the room. The door was agar, so that he could see the shrouded figure. Before the door lay the weight, of which the Guardian had spoken. The weight was round like a ball and not large.

The youth though, "I shall life it with ease and won't wait to go in to my wife." But when he tired to lift the weight, he could not move it---no, not the breadth of a finger nail. He tried with all his strength to move it by lifting and pushing and rolling it, but in vain.

He did not enter the room.

The next morning, he went to the Guardian and told him what had happened. The Guardian said, "You must divorce this woman, my son, and I shall seek another for you." This was done.

The Guardian, after he had found a second woman, caused a yet finer feast to be prepared. The bride was brought, as had happened the first time, and the bride was seated in the young man's room. When he came to enter, the weight again lay before the slightly open door. Though he saw the veiled woman, and though he tried with all his strength to remove the obstacle and go to her, he could not---no, though he struggled until dawn.

When the Guardian heard that the young man had failed once more, he signed and said, "Nor is this wife destined for you by the All-wise. Let us send her back to her father and I shall seek again."All was done as he said.

When the young man came for the third time to try to enter the bridal chamber, for the third time he saw that the way was blocked. He said, "This time, I shall remove the weight or, if I cannot do it, I shall try no more.  If I do not succeed this time, I shall know that it is decreed that I should die unmarried." He bent his back and seized the ball with his two hands, and he pulled at it until he groaned with weariness, but in vain.

The young woman within heard his groans and she said to herself, "Shall I let this man who is my husband kill himself without striving to help him?" She arose, put aside her veil and her outer robe of gold and pushed herself through the half-open door. She approached the young man who was wrestling with the heavy weight and said, "Let me help, my lord."

The two placed their hands together on the ball, and pushed with all their force. The weight rolled on one side of the door, so that the entrance was free.

The young man looked on the fair face of the woman who had come to his aid and saw that she was in truth the bride destined for him. He embraced her and the two entered the room together.

The past couple of nights, Grey and I have been reflecting on the journey we've been on. The road hasn't been easy: there's been a lot of loss, a lot of pain.  In truth, there were many times where it would have been a lot easier if we had simply given up.  Yet I couldn't. He couldn't. Because giving up would have meant giving up on our family.

7 1/2 years ago, I stood with this man before friends and family, promising to move any stone in our path.  I never dreamed that some of those stones would be the size of boulders and that there would be moments where we would be working together to climb over them as we were unable to move them. Yet I can't imagine any other person I would have wanted by my side during this.

The moral of this story is simple, though not easy: A fruitful and blessed marriage will be one in which the husband and wife (or husband and husband or wife and wife) struggle with life's problems, problems that are represent by the weight before the door.

In 7 days, we will receive results from this cycle. I pray that weight is nonexistent.


  1. What a beautiful story! Thanks for sharing. 1 week down, one to go. Halfway there makes it sound better, right? :)

  2. I loved the story and will share it with my spouse. I truly hope that this weight will no longer be present in your marriage.

  3. A beautiful post... and you KNOW I'm rooting for you. Seriously. I want this so badly for you my friend! Thinking of you and I pray this weight is nonexistent too.

  4. Wow - what a beautiful story! It gave me chills. We certainly never expect these things to happen to us but knowing that the right man is by our side can help us to get through those "unbearable" days. Praying for good news for you!! xoxo

  5. Cristy, this is absolutely beautiful. I am and will be praying that you and Grey receive not only a BFP but a wonderful pregnancy and a healthy baby from this cycle. xoxo

  6. That really is a lovely story! My thoughts are with you. I hope you get your BFP.

  7. Wow what a powerful story. We are both very lucky to have partners that are willing to carry this incredible burden with us.
    I hope your weight is lifted next week.


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