Hope and Healing
May 8, 1999
Tomorrow is Mother's Day. I am 48 years old and every Mother's Day since I aborted my two children has been painful. Some years, and most of the days in between, I muted the pain by listening to the cultural messages around me that there had not been life present anyway. I tried to talk to my female therapist about what I was feeling after the first abortion. She told me that women who give up their children for adoption suffer trauma but women who have abortions generally do not. So, in addition to feeling regret and sorrow unlike anything I had ever known, I then felt there was something wrong with me for being as affected by the abortion as I was. I stopped talking about it. What I did was what some of us do after having an abortion...I got pregnant again the very next year. Even then, I understood my unconscious wish to undo what I had done. I thought about carrying this child to term, but my cowardice and shame overtook me once again.. I chose to stop the process of life for a second time.
Often during the last years, I would think "how old my children would be now if the had lived?" But last November, at a Project Rachel retreat, I let myself realize the full truth...that they are alive, that they exist today. I met them in my heart and did what I never thought in a million years I would bee able to do-I named them Rachel and David. I finally began my relationship with them six months ago. I acknowledged their eternal existence, and I loved them.
I have heard it said that our children are the ones who keep after us, pushing us on toward healing and reconciliation. I think this is true. I was led to the retreat which was the single most powerful, profound and life changing event of my life. I knew I had been reconciled with God before the retreat. Nine years ago I returned to Him and received His forgiveness through one of His priests. But I did not feel reconciled to myself ,or my children. God's love flooded me during the retreat and led me to the reconciliation and internal peace that had always been out of reach.
Tomorrow is Mother's Day. In my church on this day, the priest asks all the mothers in the church to stand at the end of the Mass for a blessing. It has always been agony for me, as women all around me stand, and I sit. You see, I never had a pregnancy again. I have never given birth. And until last November, I never let myself know that I have two children, that I too am a mother. So when the priest asks tomorrow, I will kneel for my blessing The women who gave birth deserve to stand-I am at peace receiving my full blessing from a more humble position.
Friend, please try. .Trust your heart, trust God and your child to lead you where you have always needed to go. For my part, I will pray for you and will ask Rachel and David to look our for your little one until we join them there, surrounded by God, who is Love.
God Bless You,
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