Victim of Lost Fatherhood……..TWICE
Many years ago, over a glass of wine, and sitting on my sofa having a conversation with a former girlfriend, whom I kept in touch with, I was told the following statement, entirely out-of-the-blue: “We would have had a beautiful baby”
To which I replied, “Huh??”
She continued, (a bit tipsy): “I was pregnant, and had an abortion ..and I just realized how cute the baby would have been”
I was young, inexperienced, and utterly unprepared to hear this. It was a Saturday evening, and I thought we were going to have some wine, and a light-hearted social time. Needless to say, I was speechless. All I really recall about that night, is sitting on the sofa, with a drink in my hand, and being overwhelmed with helplessness, to the point of being numb.
I honestly don’t remember anything else. I don’t remember what I said. I don’t think I said much. I was a numb, young guy in disbelief. I had been prolife since my early teen years, coming from a devout Catholic family. The word “abortion” was a dirty word in our home; only THOSE people had abortions. An abortion was unthinkable, certainly in my life, an abortion wasn’t even on the radar, under any circumstances.
Being so young (about 22 or 23), and knowing the abortion had already occurred, about a year or two earlier, the only thing I could do, was to shutdown. I never gave it another thought, not for many many years.
A few years later, when I was 27, the nightmare of abortion re-visited me, but in a different manner. A young woman I was dating told me she was pregnant. (This time, the pregnancy was in the present tense; an abortion had not occurred). She told me that she was contemplating an abortion. And in fact, she point blank said there was no way she would have a baby, while unmarried.
Without hesitation, I told her that I wanted the baby, and that abortion was not an option. We went back and forth on the issue. She persisted that she would never be a single mother. I insisted that the baby is my child, that I wanted the baby, that at 27-years-old I was perfectly capable of caring for a child, and that I wouldn’t allow an abortion.
Funny thing, she and her family were “Catholic”. They were, as it turned out, cultural Catholics, at best. I had, in my immature phase, allowed myself not only to engage in premarital sex, but did so entirely unprotected, and with someone I had no intention of marrying.
I have ALWAYS been fervently prolife, I even (briefly) considered marrying her, just to save my child. What I initially thought, was that I would get married, and stay married until after the birth, then get divorced. I then realized that would not be an option. This would have been a sacrament (marriage), and I knew that to enter into this sacrament in such a situation, would be not merely sinful, but would create more problems for all parties.
We discussed, disagreed, argued, and debated the fate of my child for a week. This 7-day period was the most intense, nauseating, anxious, and heart-wrenching week in my life. My child’s life was on the line and for no good reason! Solely because of MY mistake, an innocent child of mine (and God’s) was facing death.
I drank. I didn’t sleep much. I didn’t eat much. And I even took her to sit down and speak with a Catholic priest (who actually, sadly, was not an effective patron for me and my cause, he had no prolife skills and ultimately he was a waste of time). I then turned to a friend of mine, who had been on my parish prolife group. I asked her to speak with my now “ex” girlfriend; she agreed to. However, on the day that my friend sat down to speak with the mother of my child, it was too late.
My friend began to speak, as the three of us sat in my living room. The mother who had been carrying my flesh and blood, interrupted her,and said, “It’s too late”
My heart sank. A part of me died that day.
My prolife friend hugged her and they embraced, and told her, “It’s OK, everything will be OK”
For the second time in just a five-year period, I lost a child to a heinous, selfish act.
Once again, the only thing I COULD do, now that the murder had taken place, was to shut down. I went about my life, in the most hedonistic manner I could conjure. I began traveling abroad (Europe), I went to all the best restaurants in town, I drank expensive booze and the finest wines.
I got very involved with my work, and with corporate functions. I partied very hard, and had a fantastic time indulging in all my passions.
Funny thing happened along the way. I decided that I would NEVER, under any circumstances, allow another child of mine to be murdered. I vowed that would never happen. How would I accomplish this??
The lightbulb was illuminated: sterilization!
I ran to the nearest urologist, and had a vasectomy. This “resolved” everything. I would no longer have to suffer through another woman informing me that she decided to murder my child.
Many years have passed. I can honestly say that I didn’t even think about my two dead children, until a few years ago. I was the “prodigal son”; having stayed away from weekly mass and the sacrament for many years, it wasn’t until I started developing some health problems in 2005, that I embarked on a spiritual journey, and found my way BACK to my Catholic faith.
It’s only been in the past two years that I have been able to really think (consciously so) about my two babies, the ones I have never met. I shed many tears over those two losses. I have had a few anxiety attacks because of those two losses. I have, however, gotten to the point of telling God, “Please…God, give my babies a hug and kiss for me, and tell them that daddy says hello, and that he loves them, and that he is very sorry. Please…God, take good care of my precious babies, and tell that I am looking forward to spending eternit with them, having the family we never had here on earth. Please…God, give them the love I was never able to give them, and please, help me repent and become the faithful Catholic Christian You desire of me, so that I can see You, and my babies, in paradise.”
It still hurts, very much so. But because my faith in God and eternal happiness is unshakable, I know that, in the end… everything will be beautiful.