Note

NOTE: Commentary is made as a private citizen and not as Regional Coordinator for Silent No More or Leader of Rachel's Hope, unless otherwise stated.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

THE GIFT - A PRECIOUS MEMORY OF MY MOM


My writing time spans from around midnight to five o’clock in the morning.  Some nights either I just don’t have the right words or the drive (shame on me) but stay up anyway watching television or reading.  Last night was like that.  While reading and listening to the tv (multitasking?), I glanced at the tiny Christmas tree in our window, and thoughts drifted to my mom.  I wondered what she would think of it.  Growing up we always had "perfect" Christmas trees, because she was the foreman of the decorating team.  She knew exactly where each and every ornament would hang, how much tinsel on each bough, and insisted the same colored lights were not close to each other.  Needless to say, thanks to her “eye,” we had a masterpiece every year.  (Except for the one year we tried an aluminum one – never again!)

My mind then wandered to one of our Christmases overseas.  We were living in Casablanca, Morocco on an Air Force Base.  I was in the third grade and not old enough to go Christmas shopping on my own.  Dad planned on taking my sister and me, but I was impatient (a character flaw I still struggle with!).  The route home from school went through military housing.  On the way home one afternoon it was trash collection day, and one of the cans along the way happened not to have a lid.  I peeked in and, lo and behold, discovered an ashtray.  If I recall correctly, it was round with green paint and gold specks. I looked around to make sure no one was watching, reached in, grabbed it and put it in my lunch box.  Mom will love this, I thought.  When I arrived home, I hid it under my mattress until I could sneak into the bathroom and make it look new.  I washed that darned ashtray about a gazillion times until the paint shined and specks shimmered, all the while oblivious to the fact there was a crack on the unpainted bottom.  I excitedly told my dad I didn’t need to shop for mom, that I already had her gift and told him what I had done.  All he said was, “That’s a really nice gift.”

Christmas morning took forever to come.  I sat, anxiously waiting for my mom to rip through a mound of paper and tape that could have wrapped a battleship (I still use too much.)  She looked down at the ashtray, gently turned it over then turned it back.  She rubbed her hand against the sparkly green surface and smiled.  She said it was beautiful and would cherish it forever, and gave me a great big hug.  My heart jumped with joy, knowing I made her happy.  I was confident she never suspected it was used or found in a trash can. That secret was between dad and me.

I think that was one of my favorite Christmas memories, especially upon finding out she was aware of the origin of the gift shortly after she opened it.  She saw the crack on the bottom and mentioned it to my dad when I was out of earshot, and he told her what had transpired.  It didn't matter to her ... she proudly displayed that ashtray for years.   She never said anything to me until I was an adult. 

Thinking about that Christmas brought me to tears, not just because this is one more Christmas without her and my dad, but the fact they loved me so much. Not only did she ignore the source of that green and gold ashtray, but they both also forgave the cause of their pain in later years when I took a detour to the darker side of life.  I was in a garbage can too, but God in His mercy, pulled me out - and He, along with mom and dad, helped me wash off and shine as if brand new.


Tuesday, December 4, 2018

By Mary Saying "Yes"




Saint John Damascene tells us, “The day of the Nativity of the Mother of God is a day of universal joy because, through the Mother of God, the entire human race was renewed, and the sorrow of the first mother, Eve, was transformed into joy.”

As Christmas approaches, my heart overflows with gratitude towards the Blessed Mother because:
                    
By Her saying, "Yes," we have a Savior ~
By Her saying, "Yes," we have direction ~
By Her saying, "Yes," we know how to live righteously ~
By Her saying, "Yes," we have hope ~
By Her saying, "Yes," we are loved unconditionally ~
By Her saying, "Yes," we are never alone ~
By Her saying, "Yes," we can look forward to eternal life.

Sadly, there are many women and men who find the Christmas season difficult because they said “No” after finding themselves faced with an unexpected pregnancy. 

I used to experience a deep sadness at Christmastime because it was the biggest reminder of how I failed God, my children as well as myself.  I thought of my babies every time I saw baby Jesus in the manger or in the arms of the Blessed Mother.  The regret was paralyzing.

If it hadn’t been for an after-abortion healing program, I would have continued to find myself saddened when viewing a nativity scene or images of the Blessed Mother with Baby Jesus and still considered myself a failure in God's eyes.  I now fully embrace Christmastime, in fact, I have a collection of nativity scenes and have statues of the Holy Family and the Blessed Mother with Baby Jesus on my fireplace. 

Through healing, I came to understand that because of Mary’s “Yes,” redemption for what I considered an unforgiveable act was there for the asking.  And because of God's loving mercy, and Mary’s inspiration of faith and courage, I am able to speak out in an attempt to prevent others from saying, “No.” 

 “…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus” …
Romans 3:23-24

If you are struggling with your decision to abort, please visit Rachel's Hope Healing Ministry in San Diego or the Silent No More Awareness Campaign  for healing resources in other locations,  including internationally. 


You are not alone.