Riding Life!

Riding Life!
Life is like a wild horse--Unless you ride it, it will ride you! (from the movie: "Princess of Thieves.")

Thursday, February 19, 2009

V: He Was Unwanted




My dad's birthday was this week. February 17, 1922, a baby boy, weighing 8 lbs. was born to my 20 yr. old grandmother, who had been deserted by her young husband. He left Arkansas to seek his fortune in Salt Lake City and later ended up in New York. In the old family Bible, I discovered my grandmother's attempt to erase the indelible ink birthdate of my father, who had been born in Feb. following her August wedding. She had confessed to my mother that she and her mother had attempted to bring on menstruation by various home "remedies". Of course it is apparent that in order to avoid the shame and embarrassment of a unwed pregnancy (especially in 1921), that they tried to abort the life of her unborn child. Fortunately, the attempt was not successful, and my lovely grandmother gave birth to a hearty, healthy, handsome boy who would be the best son a mother could have and he would be the only child she would ever bear, though she remarried when he was nine.

Letters in the old suitcase my grandmother left me, written by my dad when he spent four years in the South Pacific during World War II reveal a son always concerned and worried about his mother, because it always ended up just the two of them. He worried that she had to work when she had health problems, and that he was not there to help her.

Dad and me.





Many years later, when my grandmother died at age 77, it was the only time I recall ever seeing my father break down and weep. He wept quietly at the funeral home; he was a reserved person who was uncomfortable with public displays of grief. The last time we saw her at the funeral, he again wept and said "Mother was a beautiful woman". It took me back a little because I had never heard him say such a thing. I loved my grandmother. I still do. I don't condemn her for being afraid and probably ashamed for her predicament. She did not have an easy time; both her parents died before she was thirty years old, and she raised my dad pretty much by herself with no financial support from my grandfather, and little help from her brothers and former-in-laws. They did assist her some, and my dad grew up close to his cousins who were more like brothers and sisters. But I guess what I want to say is that sometimes we think we know what is best for ourselves. It's our own life, our own plans. We think we know what is best for ourself--our own life. But Holy Scripture tells us that we do not belong to ourselves, but were purchased by the blood of the Lamb. I especially consider this during this Season of Lent.

Dad and my eldest daughter.




Psalm 139 tells us that "You created every part of me; you put me together in my mother's womb...I know it with all my heart. When my bones were being formed, carefully put together in my mother's womb, when I was growing there in secret, you knew that I was there--you saw me before I was born. The days allotted to me had all been recorded in your book, before any of them ever began."

In 1989, my Dad (who joined a church for the first time in his life at the age of 67), sat next to me in a Bible class. It was January and Life Sunday, the day when people who profess pro-life, pray and march in support of their position. The Lutheran pastor read the above Psalm, and I heard a little gasp from my Dad sitting next to me. "Why that's predestination", he whispered. Now, I am the last person to say that I fully comprehend the doctrines of predestination and election, but I do believe that God is the Creator and Author of LIFE, and that our days are in His hands. With every fibre of my being I believe that life has intrinsic value which does not hinge upon being "wanted" or "planned". And I give thanks for the life of my dad, an unwanted child, who now lives with His heavenly Father, and through me and my children and grandchildren and even future grandchildren yet to be born. My dad's life taught me that we do not always know what is best for us. Our forgiven mistakes may result in our greatest joys and blessings.

8 comments:

Threeblindsheep said...

Great post! My son read it with me and said, "Wonderful writing, and such a strong voice!" I quite agree. I loved the story and the message. Sheep C.

Vee said...

What a story! I just loved it, too. Amazing the love between a son and his mother despite the challenges...perhaps even because of them. Thank you for telling me about this post.

Kari (GrannySkywalker) said...

Excellent post. Everytime I've ever spoken to a young woman who is pregnant and worried or scared because the baby wasn't planned, she's unmarried, the daddy won't help, etc., I always tell her that she's worrying about things that just won't matter in the years to come. Yes, she may be embarrassed or even shamed to be young, pregnant and maybe even unmarried right now, but that's more a reflection on her lack of education regarding her own reproductive capabilites than it is on her morals (in my opinion, anyway). Until us women stand up and declare that our "freedom of choice" is a choice of whether or not we have sex (unprotected or otherwise) NOT whether or not we can abort our unborn babies after they've already been conceived, there will always be women like your grandmother, who struggle and ache over their circumstances instead of rejoicing over their gifts from God. All those "Pro-Choice" people out there should know your grandmother's story - and your father's story, because they illustrate the insanity of abortion. With abortion, women all over the world have given up so much of what makes them wonderful and they are convinced that it has made them more powerful and self-determining when they do that. Real power would be education and choice of IF we got pregnant. Power is NOT that ability to kill our babies. Real self-determination would be understanding our bodies AND our minds and deciding for ourselves when or if we want to be mothers. Self-determination is making that decision BEFORE conception, not after.

And I'll quit preaching now. This subject makes me crazy, as you can tell. LOL

Your dad sounds like a perfect son...as well as a wonderful father.

It was nice to hear from you, by the way. I'm sure I'm not done blogging. I just need to settle down enough to get back at it again. :)

Kari

Amongst The Oaks said...

What a touching story and so true. I'm glad you got the photo posting figured out too.
Laura

Linds said...

A wonderful story of love between a mother and a child triumphing. This is a beautiful post!

Thanks so much for visiting. And yes, the circle of life goes on. My little granddaughter shares your father's birthday now. And it is amazing that you mentioned Psalm 139 - this is my family's psalm.

Woman in a Window said...

I feel for your grandmother and other women who at the time felt like they had little choice. Society has come along way in allowing for women's rights. I'm thankful for that, too.

I'm glad her story worked out. Sometimes we can't see the end for being lost in the moment.

Tamara Jansen said...

What a beautiful post!

Rachel said...

Amen! What a beautiful post. Ya'll are great!

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