The subject of SICLE souvenirs has apparently taken off. With permission, an excerpt from an email I received yesterday:
"Throughout our children's lives we acquire papers and trinkets that mark the milestones of their existence. We save these items to remind us of those moments in time. You're right... beggars can't be choosers. I have a lousy paper reminder of my own.
I never felt the sense of relief after my abortion. I was immediately wracked by ocean waves of regret and horrific guilt. I had just killed my tiny, precious baby. No less than any Susan Smith or Andrea Yates, I had just had my sweet innocent baby scraped out of his/her warm "safe" womb. I felt no different than if I'd held a pillow over my living toddler's face until all breathing ceased. Why did the police cars not come screeching to my front door? I wished they would. I had to pay for this murder. I could not live with myself and I could scarcely breathe through the pain and guilt for wasting this child's entire lifetime... There would always be that extra chair at Thanksgiving dinners, the birthdays that couldn't be, the missing pictures on the wall... I never stopped screaming and crying.
A friend turned me on to an abortion loss group at our local APC. I didn't really want to go, but the founder had written a well known book on the topic and was starting a new round. I dutifully read the book and started attending meetings. For 9 weeks we would all gather and cry out our regrets and we would pray. A miraculous thing happened for these other women. They came to understand that Jesus had forgiven them, and they were allowed to move on with their lives. Over the weeks, smiles began to replace tears. The women began to name their babies and they excitedly initiated preparations for a memorial service in honor of their children lost to abortion. The goal of the service was to complete this stage of "healing". Only I was not having ANY of it. I still wailed and wracked my guilty heart out in the meetings. The others looked at me as though I were difficult. I just didn't move along the healing path laid down before me. Truth be told, I could give a shit if I were forgiven or not. I didn't want to be forgiven. The baby was still not in my arms, and I had still brutally murdered my own sweet flesh and blood no matter how you mix up the forgiving, the prayer and the healing intent.
The small booklet for the service is my paper trinket of my lost baby. At the bottom of a long list of loving names like "Jason David, child of Susan" and "Breanna Annette, child of Diane", was my pathetic child's memory. "precious one, child of KLH". I could not name this baby. How could I presume to know the sex of this innocent child? I had mangled him/her before I could know! I refused to saddle the memory of some precious boy with a dippy girl name for all eternity. I was the lone hold out. In their eyes, I had dishonored my baby for not giving him/her a true Christian name. Those women who had named their babies were in denial as far as I was concerned. They left the service that day with renewed smiles and hope for their futures. They were forgiven and they were healing. I screamed all the way home clutching my booklet as though it were some sort of baptism announcement. Beggars CAN'T be choosers...
And the APC still dutifully sends me requests for donations some 8 years later even through an address change. These requests come in lieu of birthday cards for my precious one."