Betty hugged her daughter. "Have fun."
"Thanks, Mom, for letting me sleep over. I'll see you Sunday." Rosie slipped on a backpack of overnight things and Betty watched her down the road. Then she relaxed.
It was tough being a single mom, and fifteen was a difficult age. Now she had forty eight hours to settle with a good book, relax with a DVD or two and spoil herself.
The call came the following midnight. "Mrs Porrit?"
"Yes." Betty answered from a fuzzy, sleepy mind. Then suddenly she was alert.
"This is the hospital. We have your daughter here in Intensive Care. Could you come at once?"
"What happened? An accident? Is she alright?"
"Just come, Mrs Porrit. We will explain it all when you arrive."
The news at the hospital drained all colour from her face. She grasped the chair to stop herself falling.
"An abortion? My daughter had an abortion? She's just fifteen. How could she have that without my consent?"
"It is the one operation a minor can consent to without even the knowledge of her parents."
"But that is insane." The colour suffused her cheeks now. She wanted to throw something at someone as she burst out, "It is the one operation I SHOULD have a say in. It involves not just my daughter, but my grandchild. Where's the justice in that?"
"Try to focus on your daughter now, Mrs .... may I call you Betty? Unfortunately, there was a complication. She bled uncontrollably and went into severe shock. The only way to save her was to remove her uterus."
Betty felt herself crumbling. Jesus, where are You? I can't take these blows. Why, Lord? Why could she not have confided in me? Rosie sterile? Never another baby? Don't let her die, Lord. Save my daughter. I've already lost my grandchild."
"......... kidneys working again. ........ wean from the ventilator .... still more blood..." The doctors words floated in and out of the turmoil of her mind.
"Where is she?"
"Of course. Nurse, take Mrs Porrit to Rosie.
She entered an alien world. A monitor screen flashed numbers and traces in bright colours, bleeping rapidly. Drip regulators clicked monotonously, controlling drugs and fluid. The regular "Pshshshsht--tuh, Pshshshst--tuh" of the ventilator produced a steady rise and fall of Rosie's chest. Tubes were everywhere; some draining fluid, others conducting it in.
She couldn't take her eyes off these drips supporting Rosie's life. She gazed at the blood flowing drop by drop into her daughter's pale body. Jesus, why? This is wrong. You know it is wrong. Why is this happening?"
There was silence from heaven, yet a blanket of peace descended on her like a mantle. She knew God was there. No matter what they faced, He would see them through. Like a spiritual drip infusing life, she felt strength and courage to face what was ahead. She remembered their pastor's observation on Job: "God seldom answers the question 'Why?' He responds by revealing more of Himself. In that, the question somehow seems less important."
God, You say all things work together for the good of those who love You. Can You do it with this?
---------------- o ---------------
As Rosie and Peter pulled up the driveway, their two girls tumbled out of the car. "Granneee! Granneeee!" Betty's heart danced at their excited greeting. She gave her daughter and son-in-law a hug. "How did it go today?"
"Wonderful! Three girls crossed the road and received counselling. All three will keep their babies. My story is so powerful, Mom. When they see our two beautiful adopted daughters and realise the life their little ones could have if they keep them, God touches them."
Peter beamed. "I know you had a difficult strong-willed child, Mom, but that same strong-will is accomplishing so much for God. I don't know how she does it, standing up to those officials from Planned Parenthood as if she enjoys it!"
"Well, someone has to stand up for those poor young girls and their little babies!"
Betty recalled, with awe, the scene in the Intensive Care Unit and her prayer. What a price Rosie paid, Lord, yet what a gift now, to speak so effectively for those who cannot speak for themselves.
She glanced at her purpose-filled daughter and happy family.
"Come, there's tea and crumpets waiting."
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