(The frame behind the candle was given to me when I was still pregnant with Tennessee. Since it was meant for that child, and since you can't replace a child, I have never placed anyone else's picture in it. It stands empty and always will.)
:: ashli 2:16 PM # ::
Not "my abortions" but "child loss through choice". It's like they were reading my mind (or my blog anyway.) Go here and scroll down. (I recently "pinked" the phrase so you could find it faster.) Joyce deviated a tad, but it's still better than "my abortions." Even so, I wonder if Exhale won't pick the semi-sterilized "choice" phrase up and slap it on a sympathy card.
In covering any type of "pro-life" event, make sure that the accompanying photo depicts at least one nun. More if you can find them. Because everyone knows that you have to be a habit-wearing, rosary-clicking, incense-huffing nun to think abortion just might be a bad idea.
:: ashli 10:08 AM # ::
She talks intelligently about her conversion from die-hard abortion advocate to "lifer extraordinaire" and also points out some of the shocking statistics. For instance, did you know that 3 out of 5 African American children are aborted? That means more African Americans are aborted than born! (Statistic gathered at blackgenocide.org--which DOES have graphic images, so WARNING, WARNING!!!) Liberty and justice for all???
Learn more about abortion, and please pray for those who are involved in them in whatever way.
1 in 5 women has lost a child through abortion; that means YOU know someone who has been hurt by abortion. That makes it YOUR issue.
Sorry it's a little choppy, but I was addressing some women who may or may not be interested in abortion, and I had to make it kind of short and to the point. I'm sure all of you are doing something to educate others about abortion, and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. I take your good efforts personally, because abortion killed my child and hurt me very deeply, both physically and emotionally.
Keep up the good work. A voice for women, children and families is a voice for life. So use your voice tomorrow and everyday!
:: ashli 10:27 PM # ::
January is a bad month for me. Probably the worst time to clean out the attic. But the husband asked, and I complied. I riffled through decades-old photos and correspondence, newspaper clippings and other memorabilia. Being exposed to my old life is bizarre. And depressing. Looking at the photos I see myself and the life, so full of potential, that stretched before me. And sitting now on the other end of it, I feel like some kerchiefed old seer, cackling in half-madness over the cauldron of time. Oh God, the things I have seen and now know...
What do I do with all my brittle hopes and yellowed dreams? I eschew them for reality. I dump them all into the trashcan: photos of my youth, books of my poetry, a towering stack of love letters written and sent to me every day--sometimes twice a day--over the course of a year, college papers, all the cards from my wedding...everything. I just don't care anymore. Or if I do, I just don't care that I care. Reams to fill three kitchen trash bags. I felt like crying, but I didn't. Emotional constipation means survival. At least I know I will never have to live the radiant disappointment of riffling through it all again. Now it's gone like every dream I had of what life would be when I was finally on my own. My most precious things carried off to the dump to mingle with leaking cans, infected tissues, used maxi pads and other refuse.
Speaking of which, I found a happy little pregnancy meditation book (complete with bookmark) that my abortion-supporting in-laws gave me eleven years ago today, during my first, decidedly UNHAPPY, disabling, fraught-with-disease pregnancy. It says:
"A baby is a blessing-- It's a joy to watch it grow, To see its little toothless smile And count each tiny toe. A baby is a blessing, For its life is bright and new; Just by being here it gives our lives new purpose, too. A baby is a blessing, For when faith or hope is gone, A baby clearly signifies God's wish that life go on. ~Jill Wolf"
None of us knew that I was 9 days away from aborting that blessing due to maternal illness and the lack of medical (and even social) support, and reading the bookmark kind of makes me chuckle now to realize how superficial people are, how conditional and dishonest. My in-laws are not unique; if they were it would be far less troubling. They voted for Kerry and will vote for Obama for all they care about "God's blessing." Further, the man is a preacher, and he and his wife once stood out in the yard under God's open sky telling their son, whose fatherhood was butchered in an abortion along with his first child--their grandchild--that "abortion is a choice between a woman and her God." Such compassion and devotion makes the bookmark so poignant now.
I guess I held onto it for all these years, not because it meant anything to me in and of itself, obviously, but because it was handed to me and in my possession during a time when my child was still alive. And so it became a remnant of that pregnancy and thus a remnant of my child. God knows I have tried for years to hold on to any semblance of my child. But that's a bit impossible, I suppose. And I feel a little ridiculous trying. My child is gone like my past is gone. Here once but no longer. Into the ether. S/he cannot come back to me, but one day, like David, I intend to go to him/her. Until then, into the trash with every moth-eaten, rust-covered temporary thing.
Adversity can be met with love and courage. I never want to hear again how physically unhealthy it is for a teen to have a baby. While nobody is happy about teen pregnancy, if this beautiful little woman can do it without killing herself, a 14-year-old can too. YES, I SAID FOURTEEN-YEAR-OLD!
If you just screamed, "Oh muh gawd! Honey, come here and look at what this horrible anti-choicer just said--she WANTS babies to have babies! How unhealthy!! How cruel, archaic and oppressive!!!"--then note to you: look for a future post on the lovely woman ("Missy") who attends my church. I intend to tell you her story and interview her mother--who was FOURTEEN at the time of Missy's birth.
Missy is my friend. I am glad she is alive, and I'm NOT sorry.
:: ashli 10:29 PM # ::
It's like I said yesterday: I'm evenly-killed.
:: ashli 10:16 PM # ::
Matt Mac refers to his gestating child as a "miracle of creation" and a "gift from God." I wonder if he extends this courtesy to all gestating children or just his.
The 11th anniversary is coming up. I want to be over it now. Time hangs her cobwebs; I've said it before. I am not actively planning my own death anymore. Time, progressing, no stalling out. So I decided to ignore January this year.
My reaction to this month is ridiculous, because I'm an educated, Christian girl. God forgives and my story is old, right? I'm a woman, I'm strong; I can out-think the abortion, right? I can, because it happened 11 years ago, and I'm on the right side. I don't stand for the lies anymore; I am not duped. I know science, I know what life is, I understand chromosomes, I know what humanity is. I stand for truth; I stand for equality, equal protection for all human beings under the law. I've been on both sides; I chose this one, and not because I ever, ever wanted to, but because all the spiffy abortion rhetoric/rationale I gathered and was pumped full of for 25 years fell crashing to the floor in a big, wet, bloody puddle one dead-black January night in 1997.
As my husband would say, "I know the drill." So I'm above it all, right? I'm a post-abortion pro. I'm an expert at the kind of denial it takes to go on as if nothing ever happened. This keeps me clean, unsullied by the sloppiness of the weird, phantom pain of a broken heart in spite of my decade-old "cardiectomy," right? Clean like dried beef that doesn't smell anymore, not because it's not a slice of old, dead cow, but because time and the medicine of air have dehydrated it, neutralizing all its potency. Jerky. I'm jerky. There's no moisture here. And this is how I beat the sting of death served up "Hoover-n-garden hose" style.
I'm on top, and I know it. I'm rejoicing on the summit, because this old death is faded brown roses that never ever really were, right? They never grew beside the house thrusting vibrant fragrance through open windows or clung to sheets that hung drying and flapping on the line nearby.
I don't want you to think I don't know that I'm out of the T-shirt and into the suit. I'm snazzy, sittin' pretty, high above the pain, because I can. I can outrun it, out-think it, because I've faced every ugly part of it, grabbed the bull by its goring horns, and saddled up for the bumpiest ride imaginable.
I'm middle-aged now, and dispassionate about the whole affair. Time has passed. I could care less about my crummy childhood. I don't immediately remember the name of the first boy who broke my heart. My mother's death is tucked in neatly. My father's death is just behind that. The abortion was a dropped cherry on top of my goodbyes to them, and there's the drawer, so be a dear and tuck it in, will you. Put it to bed. Save me the trouble.
Help me to ignore the fact that few short evenings ago I awoke in the night with a vivid image of my child's ruined torso before me. Missing limbs and escaping viscera told their never-ending story. The head, torn and crushed like a deflated balloon, lay elsewhere, rolling toward me like a marble across the floor of my consciousness. I woke "TO the nightmare not FROM it." I panicked like an egg-less hen at the sound of the farmer's heavy boot. I clucked and ran, fumbling in the dark, trying to find footing in some other reality--one where I have risen above it all because "I know the drill." There is none. I am stuck. My three-year-old stirs, utters a tiny kitten's cry for me to follow. I slip back under the covers, slide in beside her, feeling her warmth, hearing her heartbeat through the pillow; mine beats faster, for I have been running for my life again. For my life and for hers.
I am anxious. I am not having panic attacks because those are irrational, and I am rational, so I forbid them. I only allow them when I am pregnant and pumped full of toxic hormones and drugs and fighting for physical survival. And even then, I can tame them with the radio. Now I am looking over my shoulder, seeing shadows on the wall, unseen eyes searching me, a presence. I find my hands trembling, my wrists weak. I chalk it up to the virus I'm getting though I know I'm perfectly healthy and nothing whatever is coming on...nothing except January 30.
But I have outgrown that. That pain is old, and intellectually I know it is over, that reality's gone forever. Spiritually, I believe that was not the end, this is not the end, reunion will come--though I don't know what that will be in a land where husbands and wives are above the institution. I don't cringe about it; I know God knows best. I would cringe but it has been so long, and the answers were so unavailable, such a labyrinth, that my puzzler grew gangrenous and killed all the nerve endings. It's that and my absent heart and my huge, grown-up brain, which collectively tell me that I am above what I know I can't be feeling. So I'm not. As I say, I must be getting sick. I hear people sometimes get the flu in January.
I've outgrown the immaturity of feeling anything. I am stone. My brow is furrowed like a learned old man who is heavily into government affairs, intimate with geography and reads the black and white parts of the Sunday paper for fun. The lines in the back of my hose both run straight up my legs to the base of my spine where they plug me into the sane world of my control top; everything is under control, and I'm on top.
I will not succumb, because I have a degree and I drink coffee and though I don't smoke, if I did, they would be Pall Mall. I listen to well-oiled jazz and read Sartre and poetry and ace medical exams, because I'm "all there." I do everything I can to mature a little more each day, to grow away from that infantile personality who still "misses her baby" and thinks such a "little thing" as abortion killed off not only her child but a huge part of herself and her life forever. So look at my progress:
January affect me? Don't make me laugh!
January is a month for spreadsheets, markets and financial planning. January is a month for battling the heat bill. January is another month, that's all, and I am totally successful in burning dry the moisture attempting to escape from my face. I told you: I've got car keys, and I can buy martinis now without even being carded. I'm on top! January? Send the paperboy packing; the news is old. And while the weight of the world may be tearing down my spine, I've got pills to help me sleep.
I'm OK, I'm on top, master of my universe, in control of my reality, mature, evenly-keeled, centered, grounded, informed, totally in control of my emotions.
And very, very exhausted.
:: ashli 7:01 PM # ::
So much of this rings true for me:
"When I crack an egg I think of my dead child. When I see a pregnant woman I think of my dead child. When the life chain forms every year in October I think of my dead child. When I wake up in the middle of the night TO the nightmare instead of from it, I think of my dead child. When I look at my daughters now I think of my dead child. When I turn on the hand mixer I think of my dead child. When I drive past that building where she died I think of "her". When I am alone I think of my dead child. While driving the car sometimes it hits me-I have a dead child! When I change a diaper I think of my dead child. When I am actually able to enjoy my children I think of my dead child as being left out and looking on in anger, disgust and sadness. When I eat meat sometimes I think of my dead child. When I see a LeBonheur commercial telling me to "Give Life" I think of my dead child. When I put my contacts in and must look at myself closely in the mirror I think of my dead child. When I take my birth control pill every morning to keep from bleeding as it hurts too much to see it, I think of my dead child. When it should be her birthday I think of my dead child.
Worst of all days, when it is my birthday I think HOW COULD I CELEBRATE WHEN I MURDERED MY OWN CHILD!!!!"
:: ashli 6:59 PM # ::
Disaboom: the online community for anyone with a functional limitation.
:: ashli 4:47 PM # ::
:: Thursday, January 10, 2008 ::
OK, so the guy's a little dorky. But at least he blinks a couple times in this one. Anyway, LISTEN to his message because it hits the nail on the freaking head. Planned Parenthood exposed. Period. This is what it's all about.
Grace Ann with her sisters. Grace Ann was diagnosed in utero with full blown Trisomy 18, a fatal condition. Her parents experienced tremendous pressure to terminate the pregnancy. Withstanding this, they went on to deliver Grace Ann by C-section. Grace Ann lived sixty-two days of love in her family.