I wasn’t ready to answer these questions. At the time all I could think of was that I was going to have a baby. I could picture holding him – not handing him over to a stranger. It would hurt me too much. After a short debate I agreed to explore my options in more detail before deciding. We’d been through enough for one day. Emotionally drained, I hugged each of them, saying “I’m sorry” between sobs. Mom went to the kitchen to start supper.
I am the same age now that my mother was then. Perhaps that is why I feel compelled to revisit those places in my heart and memory. I now can attempt to see and understand more looking through her eyes. I have two daughters now. Just thinking of the past, considering it happening in my daughter’s lives tears at my heart and clenches my stomach. I know, now, that this is how Mom felt. This fear is what kept her from forming words in those first moments.
Fear affects people in many different ways. I had a writing teacher in college who, after reading a short story I wrote, commented on the father character in the story. At the time he didn’t know that the character was in real life my own father. I’ve always had a hard time imagining a father character as anything but my actual Dad. He’s a character that is larger than life sometimes and he fills my entire perception of what a father is. In the story, the character had some tough times but worked through them with honor and grace, just as my dad always had. My teacher liked the character but thought I should “turn up the heat under him and see what he does.” In the months following my “announcement” I don’t think the heat could have been turned up any higher.
This is an excerpt from Patricia’s memoir, Because I Loved You, in the first chapter which is included in the Prenancy Counseling Booklet: No Regrets on sale this month. Order a set for your agency today HERE!