Remembering a Child Who Never Was

Upset woman sitting on couch alone at home

About five years ago, a young woman graduating from high school had a rather traumatic encounter. As she was in the hallway, lining up for the processional, a woman came up to her and tied a white ribbon around her arm. The woman asked her if she would wear it in remembrance of the child she had aborted who would have been in the same class. A little later the woman sent the graduate a letter, telling her what she had done, and why she wanted her to wear the armband.

The following is what the letter said:
Nineteen years ago, I aborted my first child. It was the most horrible thing I have ever done in my life. “My life!” It seems at 19 that’s all I could think about was my life. I didn’t concern myself with the small beating heart that was transforming, growing, every day into a little human being. It didn’t seem real. Besides, I had my life to think about…I hadn’t been out of school that long. I had a job, my own place to live. I didn’t want to lose all that. I wanted to live a little, enjoy life before I got tied down. How ironic that I thought this baby had to die so that I might live. But I didn’t think of “it” as a baby, or as dying. It was just an abortion. It seemed quite acceptable at the time. Women’s rights and liberation were at a peak.

The clinic I went to was packed. For $100 in cash, they explained the abortion procedure as a vacuum aspiration. “Much like the vacuum cleaner you would use at home.” What they didn’t tell me was that this procedure rips the fetus to shreds, terminating the pregnancy. They asked me how I was feeling, and I remember telling them that I didn’t “feel” pregnant. No morning sickness, no headaches, none of the awful stories that you heard about being pregnant. I was taken to an examining room where my feet were put into stirrups and the “life” was literally sucked out of me.

The moment it was over, I knew it was wrong. My body began to shake and I went into shock.

They piled warmed blankets on me and kept me under observation until the shaking subsided. As I lay there, safe and warm, I could hear the nurses in the bathroom talking about the day’s events and what they would do after work as they flushed the buckets of waste that had only moments before been someone’s baby. I was so ashamed of what I had done.

The dreams started almost immediately. I saw my baby fully formed and beautiful as I held him in my arms. It was always a boy. He had such an angelic little face. That face would be all grown and graduating this year with you and your classmates. And thought the dreams have faded away, the guilt, remorse, and pain I feel for that little life taken from me has not.

I have since been blessed with four children. My two oldest children know about the awful decision I made so many years ago, and when the time is right, I will tell the others. I pray that their knowledge will prevent them from making that same mistake.

I am now pregnant with a fifth child, and its movements in my belly are joyful for me, yet a constant reminder of the child I threw away so long ago. I am thankful that God has chosen to bless me so many times, in spite of what I had done. He has given me the opportunity to give life, but more importantly to give the love that I missed with my first.

My words of thanks to you cannot begin to express how much it means to me to have you wear this armband in remembrance of my child that never was. And because of your act of kindness, you will always be special to me too.

Thank you,
from the bottom of my heart.

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