Last week I wrote about loneliness and lost children and unread text messages. A reader messaged me and asked me what my story was regarding lost children. In light of the horrendous videos being released that show Planned Parenthood as the evil group they truly are, it pains me to have to admit I was once one of their supporters and chose to end the lives of four of my children. I did let her know, however, that I am a post-abortive woman - four children lost to abortion during the years I was living without God and as a 'as long as you feel good' kind of gal. I lost another to natural abortion - a miscarriage - the same day my husband died. Today, when I stand in the pew at Church and see women my age holding their sleeping grandchildren, I feel that pang of loneliness that comes only to those who have lost a child. It doesn't matter that I was the architect of my own misery - the feelings are real and I will not pretend not to feel them in order to help another woman ignore how wrong those same bad choices are today. Abortion kills children and hurts women. That's the truth.
As for the unread text messages: about six weeks ago I sent a request to a friend for some help. Normally I would not do that - I usually take care of things on my own - but this particular person had made it a point of telling me to reach out to him and ask for help if I needed it. I did. No response. None. I sent two follow ups - one a voice mail and one message through facebook - and no response. I ended up having to ask my adult nephew to help me and quite frankly I did not want to do that - the kid gets bombarded with requests from the older adults in our family. As always, however, he came through but I never did hear from my friend.
Yesterday, during the Niner v. Dallas game, the guy chose to respond. He said he had gotten busy, meant to respond, forgot and just remembered. He apologized. I accepted it. Simple and done. No hard feelings. Mistakes happen. He had read my blog and remembered.....and I forgave him because that is what we do. Besides, I figure there will come a time I will let him down as well.
I write about this because in today's hyper-sensitive world I often make the mistake of thinking people are talking and thinking and acting in relationship to ME rather than to the stuff around them. The woman who contacted me about the children, for instance, did so because she has lost contact with her step son and that single sentence struck a cord with her. She wanted to share her loss with me. She asked how I recovered from mine and I told her that I feel the operative word is not 'recovered'; rather, it is 'recovering'. I lost those that would have rounded out my life and added depth to it that otherwise does not exist. I don't think the recovery from that is a one time event. I think it is ongoing and that if one is a Catholic then one learns to unite that suffering with the suffering of Christ on the Cross.
The friend who ignored my request for help was embarrassed. I was too. It is always awkward to tell someone they let you down, unless you unload on them in a angst and drama filled screaming match. My family has always been good at those - after all, we love the drama - but lately I have retired from that stage. It takes too much energy and I am too tired. It is just easier to say quietly to him, "Hey, you really hurt my feelings, buddy boy." and when he said, "I am so sorry. I really have no excuse. I just dropped the ball" to say back that he can forget it and then invite him to my birthday party.
Besides, being gracious can be the best revenge (just kidding).
It all boils down to this: if I am going to exist in a hyper sensitive world, constantly worried about putting pen to paper and hurting someone's feelings then I am going to spend my life walking on egg shells. I am not going to live like that anymore. I chose, instead, to live in a world where people are reasonable about being human. I am going to live in a world where mistakes happen, forgiveness reigns (no matter how often one has to give it) and people try not to live under the tyranny of fear. I am going to hope that those who have questions about what I write will contact me and ask those questions. I am more than happy to answer them.
And when someone says to me, "Was that about me?" I can tell them the truth - either it was or it wasn't. If it wasn't, then accept that and move on. However, if you insist that everything I experience and write about is about YOU, you are going to be sadly disappointed. I have a big, blank canvas upon which to paint....not every section has your name on it.