This is a repost from a previous vigil, this entry was sent to us from a blog reader - and outlines some of the painful ripples that abortion brings...
It was around
midnight several years ago that I sat hunched over my computer keyboard, the
light from the monitor illuminating the dark room. A message popped up from my
daughter P. She asked how I was, I responded that I was well and asked how she
was doing. She told me she was worried about her brother G, but angry with him
too, saying he had been nasty to her lately. I sighed. I knew it was true. Then
she said she needed to tell me something. Inwardly I froze. No mother wants to
hear these words from her child, especially over an internet connection in a
dark room late at night.
My daughter is a terrible typist so waiting for
the next message, which I was sure was going to contain bad news, was endless.
Finally I read: "I want to tell you something about M (my son's wife) but you
have to promise never to talk to anyone about it or M and G will never speak to
me again if they find out that you know - they don't even know that I know. Also
I am afraid to tell you because you might treat them differently when you hear
this." I promise P I will keep her secret, having no idea what she is about to
P had hinted previously that she knew something about M but I
had decided to wait for P to tell me in her own time. M has always been a bit
secretive but I chalked that up to the fact that I was her mother-in-law and we
didn't have the sort of relationship where she confided anything to me. The next
message from P tells me something disappointing about M but then another message
pops up. It reads: "but there's more." I decide that since we've gone this far I
might as well plunge in all the way.
I type: "she had an
There's no hesitation in the response. The single word "yes"
pops up on my computer screen.
And all of a sudden everything starts to
fall into place. The outburst by my son towards a family member who innocently
asked if he and his wife were planning to start a family soon, the estrangement
from certain family members, the abrupt move half way across the country and the
ongoing prickly attitude towards me, his father and his sister. I feel an icy
hand close over my heart. I ask my daughter how she came to learn this
information but I know I don't need to check her sources - she couldn't lie if
her life depended on it. My daughter feels better now that she has unburdened
herself but now I must carry this Cross - the knowledge that my first grandchild
is dead. I want to split in half and cry forever.
Instead I begin to
blame my daughter-in-law for what has happened and as time goes by I nurse this
grudge until I can no longer look at her photo or speak to her on the phone.
It's easy to get out of speaking to her on the phone as she has a very soft
voice and I have trouble listening to her due to my hearing problems. Since she
and I were not close to begin with this new pattern emerges of only speaking to
my son when he calls.
As the weeks go by I try to piece together the
fragments of information that P has given me and I determine that M became
pregnant about nine months before her and G's wedding. This hurts me even more
as it feels like she has chosen her expensive white dress and a big party over
her unborn child. My anger and resentment continue to fester. I might have found
relief if I could have confronted M and G but I had promised P I would not. By
now my husband also knows what has happened. He is so ashamed he literally
forbids me to talk to anyone about it. We are also terrified that our already
strained relationship with M & G will break for good if we confront them
even though we would tell them we forgive them.
Being a Christian I keep
telling myself I don't hate my daughter-in-law, I hate what she did. I tell
myself that God loves her and made her in His image. I tell myself that she
didn't choose to abort but that she felt she had no option but to abort. Except
that I cannot accept that, no matter how hard I try. My husband and I would have
taken that baby in if my son and his wife couldn't care for him. We would have
kept him forever or given him back when his parents wanted him. We would have
given them money, support, anything to help. But they never asked us.
the years go by I step up my commitment to ProLife. I want to spare other people
the pain I have experienced. I want the babies to live. I volunteer at a
pregnancy centre and join prayerful endeavours like Life Chain. Every time we
hear a sermon against abortion I want to stand up and cheer - except that the
sermons always encourage us to reach out in love and mercy to the post-abortive
mothers and all I want to do is shake the living daylights out of my
daughter-in-law. I want her to hurt as much as I do. I want her to tell me she
is sorry. It's probably a good thing she lives half way across the country from
Finally I reach a point where I can no longer sustain this level of
personal misery. And it's then that Abby Johnson comes into my life.
Abby Johnson once worked for Planned Parenthood. It was after she
assisted at an abortion that she finally came to the realization of what she had
long suspected. Abortion was killing babies. She left Planned Parenthood and
wrote a book about her transformation from "prochoice" to ProLife. I bought her
book and read it in one day. It resonated with me on every single level even
though I had never had an abortion myself. More than anything I wanted to
participate in 40 Days for Life, the prayerful vigil that had done so much to
Within two weeks a lady at my church announced we were
going to participate in 40 Days for Life. My heart jumped and I was one of the
first ones to sign up! My husband, while supporting the cause, was very
concerned that I would be assaulted in front of the clinic while holding my 40
Days sign. I asked him "what if some lady had been standing in front of the
clinic the day that M and G went to her abortion appointment - what if her sign
or her smile or her words caused M to reconsider the abortion and carry the baby
to term?" He didn't stop worrying but he didn't ask me to stop going
The 40 Days for Life campaign took place while the weather was
damp and cold. Some days it rained, some days the wind blew through my coat. But
slowly as the earth moved towards Spring my heart began to thaw a little along
with the ground. I spent many hours on the front lines praying for the mothers
and their unborn babies. Sometimes I thought of my grandchild. I know he is in
Heaven and prays for his mom. He's forgiven her. I know I must too.