Constructively Broken

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Constructively Broken

Author Sarah d'Evegnee

"The word 'miscarriage' makes the process of losing a baby sound like an intentional error on the part of the mother. The prefix 'mis' comes from Old English, meaning 'wrong, bad, or erroneous' or 'to fail to achieve an intended outcome.'" In this second-place essay in the 2017 Richard H. Cracroft Personal Essay Contest, Sarah d'Evegnee likens her experience of having a miscarriage to other "broken" people or objects—a friend's daughter, Hannah, who was raped or the author's license plate that hung crooked because it was missing a bolt. "Like my license plate, Hannah was viewed as something that needed to be straightened out and fixed—an uncomfortably off-kilter symbol in an otherwise symmetrical world." When people would tell her about her crooked license plate, she would remind them that sometimes "we're too hard on people who are different or who don't match the way we think people should be. My license plate reminds me that sometimes it's okay to be crooked. It's okay to be different. And sometimes it's okay to be broken. Broken isn't always bad."