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Sunday, April 26, 2009

It was all too casual

A few mornings ago I got up early and stopped at a gas station to put in a few gallons. I was to be going swimming later, so I also grabbed some Reese's Peanut Butter Cups to scarf down after the swim and before work. The mid-20ish man, smiled as he saw the treat and said "when my girlfriend was pregnant, she craved those all the time. And her craving them made me crave them too." It was on the tip of my tongue to ask him how old his child was, and he said with utter casualness "She didn't have the baby, but she's starting to crave Reese's again - she's pregnant again." Said with a smile and utter nonchalance. I was torn saying anything after that. I thought "what if she miscarried?" So I wanted to give the benefit of the doubt. But he'd said it with an utterly unchanged expression, and not sorrow. Not glee, by any means, not wistfully, not ANYTHING., He could have said "She's going to Montana tomorrow" and the expression would have been the same. I feel like going back and saying "if she aborted the baby last time, there's help she can get to keep the baby." Sometimes you just want to grab people and shake them by the shoulders. "GROW UP, man, you are too young and irresponsible to be impregnating your girlfriend twice and not caring about the full consequences of your actions!!!" But then I don't really know that she DIDN'T miscarry, do I? And sometimes people say things "casually" when it affects them deeply.

In my lifetime two people confessed to me that they had a close relative have one, or had one themselves. The first one's aunt (who'd died when she was little) had a "backstreet abortion" while in her late teens. Unmarried, frightened, scared. So this first person wanted abortion legal so people like her aunt wouldn't have died. [I thought, "if she HADN'T had the abortion TWO people would be living!!! Pregnancy is temporary!"] The second person had been newly married - to an atheist. He wasn't "ready to be a daddy yet." She wasn't practicing her Christian faith at the time, and wanted to please him. And so she had one. When I barely knew her, she mentioned it "casually" - like this fellow did. Almost in passing. But some years later, after I knew her much better, and she'd started practicing her faith again, the couple had had three beautiful children. (She was pregnant with the eldest when I'd first met her.) But she brought the subject up again with me and said she'd told her husband she'd NEVER have another abortion, it was awful, and had devastated her. My guess is that when she looks at her 3, she's got to be thinking sometimes "there should have been four."

So perhaps this young man's "casualness" is an act of denial at this point.

9 comments:

The Digital Hairshirt said...

Thew all-too-common attitude of indifference to abortion is far scarier than a zelot support of it.

The Digital Hairshirt said...

Sorry, that's zealous.

gemoftheocean said...

And it's probably "through" too. ;-D

[Sister Mary Elephant smacks you widda wet noodle on the noggin'.]

gemoftheocean said...

BTW, agree with you too. The women I talked to were in agony, and I've never revealed the identities of either, nor ever would.

ukok said...

Prayers going up for the young man and his girlfriend, and of course, their unborn child.

gemoftheocean said...

Thank ukok. It's a terrible thing to hope someone's miscarried, but when the other option was "abortion" you hope the first one was a miscarriage.

Prayers indeed! [And here's to hoping they have a wedding date set too.]

entropy said...

the people that I've known that have had or been party to abortions have always been deeply affected, despite their demeanor on the outside. It's a hard thing to reconcile and still walk around like it never happened. Denial helps with that.

Angela M. said...

I know someone who is the father of an aborted child and it's basically destroyed his relationship with certain family members because he has never dealt with the pain and anguish. He didn't want the abortion but she did it anyway. It makes me want to scream when I think of it so I try not to. I never believed guys had a connection to unborn children but I do now.

gemoftheocean said...

Angela. Oh, yes. Many do. One priest I know told me that a fellow once talked to him (NOT in confession) that he was distressed about his girlfriend having an abortion. And Father gently (I'm sure in his case) told him it can be what happens when men aren't committed enough to MARRY the girl. Not that it was right, but it was what pushed them over the edge. "Fun" has its consequences. Sometimes deadly. He wanted the baby, in theory, but not ALL that went with it. Like NOT "playing house with privileges."

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