It was just my son, Ethan and I, in his own little room, in our own little world. We rocked. I sang. He smiled. I know the lullabies. I sang them sixteen years ago for my beautiful, daughter, Laura and before that to her three brothers, Jesse, Robby and Skyler.
We rocked - my baby and I, back and forth and higher and higher my spirit soared until it met up with a restless memory that jolted me back to reality. Then, suddenly, like a summer storm on the ocean the tears came, and so severely that I held on to Ethan as if he were my life preserver. There was little I could do but hold on and ride out the currents of regret and waves of sorrow and shame.
I never know when the storm will hit but it seems to stir during the sunniest moments I share with my children. My heart warms and is so stretched with love for them that it easily tears, then the cold, familiar ache seeps in and swells.
His silence is the thunder and his absence like a whirlpool pulling me in to despair - my first child.
He's gone. Perhaps it(my child) was Laura's sister. I never knew. I never sang to him or saw her smile. I never held him or comforted her in the night.
I let them take her. Violently. Heartlessly. Indifferent, insensible people ripped my child from me in the middle of an April day in a room, in a building, on a street I only vaguely remember. I don't know what they did with her. I don't want to know. I went home.
I left her there and I went home.
I believed I left the memory of her in that room, but, although I didn't recognize it then, I know now that it visited me often. When my children celebrated birthdays there always seemed to be something missing or someone I'd forgotten to invite. After kissing my babies goodnight I didn't want to leave their rooms. In frequent nightmares I secretly buried a faceless, lifeless, little body in my garden and was so afraid that someone was going to find out. I remember waking up confused and frightened and wondering why I would dream such a thing.
Thirteen years after that April afternoon God woke me up - gently but justly to the reality of what I had done. It was time. He showed me by His Spirit and not without mercy the sin I had committed against Him. I attempted to plead innocent due to my youth and ignorance, but to no avail. I tried to blame my mother, the father of my child, my doctor, the abortionists....but God's Truth manifested and I was held accountable.
My eyes were finally opened and I confessed my sin. I forgave all those who took part in the atrocity and though I repented, and in my mind knew I was pardoned, my grief was so deep and my soul so weak that it took time and effort to reach up and receive into my heart the Lord's forgiveness.
Ethan is his own person and yet at times an echo of my child of 25 years ago, but more than that, he's a miraculous reminder of the greatness of God's mercy and love.
The wound is healed but the scar remains. The nightmares have ceased, yet the storms continue to come. I hold to the promise that there will be a final storm and through the last mortal tears I weep, my child will come to me like a rainbow.
I believe that then I'll sing again and pray that my child will smile.
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God bless you, dear Donna, for your courage and honesty in sharing this article. As you hold your little boy Ethan, know that Christ is holding your other child until the day you have the chance to do it yourself. Your weeping will turn to joy. In His love~Mary
Oh dear Donna! You precious, precious lady. This was so powerful, because you wrote from the heart and from what you had experienced. As you've confronted the sin before God, may you now always be surrounded by His amazing grace, peace and love. With love, Deb
Powerful piece, Donna, and artfully written. I believe that all the elements of your dealing with this incident - the continuing tear-squalls, your sense of forgiveness but still regret, and now your writing this - are working together to bless and transform your life, and through you, others. Thanks for sharing! ~ Violet
Donna, thank you for having the courage to share this. I agree that you should think of submitting it to pro-life
groups for their material - it may serve as a deterrent to other frightened and confused women.
A very beautiful story! You should have given us a "tissue alert," though! Just a couple of picky things: "severely" was misspelled (which was probably simply a typo); and "13" should be spelled out ("Thirteen") when it begins a sentence. Keep up the great writing!