Always thankful for my eldest
Many years ago when I started in ActiveRain I shared this story in a longer version. It shaped my life. As we enter this Season of Thankfulness, I couldn't let it pass without knowing that the choice I made as a scared young woman is one of the greatest blessings of my life.
The year was 1974. I was a 21 year old college student at the University of Colorado. Young, naive, hopeful for life. In the early part of the year I was brutally attacked, which sent my life into a tailspin. A few weeks later, having lost my purpose and self-worth, I ended my engagement and planned a European trip with my best friend for the fall.
Shortly before we were to leave for Europe, I found myself with an unwanted pregnancy. My family was religious. Abortion was an abhorent word in our household, but Boulder was one of the few places it was legal, and there was a clinic on campus. I made an appointment so I could keep my "sin" secret.
As I sat alone that October day, I looked at the girls around me, girls with their mothers laughing and planning . . . planning their lives for after they rid themselves of their "product of conception." I was so lost as girl after girl was called back, as though they were trying on clothes and not making a life-altering decision.
Finally it was my turn. I stood at the counter to pay to hide my transgression and I wondered what in the world I was thinking? Without a word, I put my money in my wallet, put on my coat, and walked into the crisp autumn air with a new purpose . . . to protect the tiny life I was carrying.
I found the nearest payphone and called the baby's father, who desperately wanted to get married. We needed to talk. I called my mother (one of the hardest calls I've ever made) but knew with that call my baby's life would be protected. I never looked back.
Betsy is in her mid-40s now. She lives near me and I adore her. She is a daily joy. She was the first of many children and grandchildren. We are always faced with choices. Some have bigger consequences than others. I will never judge anyone who made a decision different than mine, but for me, there has never been a day I have not been thankful for the choice I made that fateful day.