Saturday, December 23, 2017

The Gift Of Life... particularly poignant when the life at issue is someone else’s.

     Herewith, a textual condensation of a truly inspiring Twitter thread that brought tears to my eyes.

     For my twitter friends who actually care, i said one day I’d share the story of why I’m so damn pro life:
     I was about 22, i mostly lived to party. I’d get drunk every single night at my favorite dive bar before heading downtown to whatever party or bar was happening. I had nothing going for me. Dead end job, lived with my parents, barely working car. I probably would have wrapped it around a tree drunk if given a few more years.
     On my birthday, a bunch of my friends came out, and i got exceedingly drunk. I ran into an old fling, nice enough girl. We had a one night stand. A few months later, I’m working the night shift stocking shelves at a grocery store, i get a call. It’s he girl from my birthday night. She’s pregnant.
     Fuck. I make 9.50 a hour and work at home. What the hell am i supposed to do? Call a guy i know who is a pastor. He’s a pretty understanding dude. Asks me what i plan to do. Plan? I haven’t planned a thing in my life, i live in the moment. He asks me if i want a kid. “Hell no!” He gives me a card, says it’s a relationship counselor, tells me to call her and explain my situation.
     I called her, explained what was going on, and she had a reasonable proposal: why don’t you two come meet me, and we can talk about this in a environment that feels safe and open. I called Jenna (my wife now) i tell her that i want to try to be a good person and maybe we could talk about it with this person who is in expert in bad situations.
     First meeting comes and this lady is a little out there, but very understanding. Jenna and i are able to talk about what we want. We come to a tentative agreement that we should get to know each other.
     Jenna’s dad is a doctor, she’s had everything she’s ever wanted or needed in life. She’s a great student and college athlete. I’m a fuck up, my parents, while wealthy, have mostly cut me off and i have a awful relationship with them at this time.
     That poor woman is faced with a couple bad choices: hitch her wagon to a fucking deadbeat loser, get an abortion, give the baby up for adoption or keep the baby, cut me off and try to finish school as a single mom at 20. In the worst decision (later best) she’s ever made, she decided to go with me... a guy who stocks grocery stores, living in his parents basement with a car that barely runs.
     We started going to couples counseling twice a week, literally to get to know each other. Now Jenna had never dated anyone before. Suddenly this deadbeat scruffball shows up with her at all her family events, church and dinner on Sunday, the whole 9 yards.
     We eventually got to the point where we decided we wanted to keep the baby and maybe get married. This is about 4-5 months into the pregnancy. She hadn’t told her parents yet and she was starting to show a little. Everytime we tried to tell them, she’d have a panic attack and we wouldn’t tell them. Eventually it got to the point where someone had to do tell them or they would guess. Eventually i realized that i was going to have to tell them myself. I looked her dad up on his hospitals website and called his office. Asked to meet with him.
     Folks, i was not a brave man. I always took the easy way, i was a coward and a weasel. But i went to that fucking meeting and i broke that poor mans heart. He knew what i was, and now his beautiful, intelligent, sweet daughter was forever linked to me. Hardest thing I’ve ever done is telling a good man that i may have just ruined his daughters dreams, and his dreams for her.
     My FIL is a saint folks. He took it stoically. He didn’t yell or scream or kick my ass. He thanked me for telling him and said he would be in touch, that he had to talk to his family.
     Jenna called me a hour later. She was furious. Called me every name in the book and then some. She would have made @liars_never_win blush. Her mom called an hour later and asked me to come to dinner that night. Talk about walking into a bad situation. I went that night.
     It went great actually. Her family was supportive of her, wanted to make the best of the situation and offered to pay for the counseling we were going to (100 bucks a week is a lot when you make 9.50).
     After a month or two we decided we would get married. Jenna dropped out of school and started sewing decorative pillows to make a little money. I started to get my act together with work. I went from a shit employee to the best motherfucker they had. I completely turned my life around. I had no choice, it was sink or swim and i had to carry two others on my back. I worked my tail off and got some promotions and small raises.
     Out of the blue, my parents made us an astounding offer: they would buy a very modest house for us, and would defer payments for the first couple years of our marriage. We found a nice house in a safe neighborhood and they bought it. A month later Charlie was born.
     Charlie changed my world. From the moment i found out about him, he began to save me. Charlie transformed me from a directionless fuck up to a man with a purpose.
     Hindsight is great right? I didn’t see it then, but that tiny little human inside Jenna changed me more than any outside influence ever could. He made me be a man, he saved my life, and he brought the love of my life into my life.
     So why am i pro life? Because i understand that a small, seemingly insignificant and helpless human can have a profound impact on the world. Simply by existing a unborn child has the power to save someone, to radically change a life. And Charlie didn’t just save me, he brought Jenna and i together, and through that came Henry and Annie, two more wonderful amazing people who will have a huge impact on their world.
     A life is never a mistake! The power in a life to save others is immense. It may not be clear at the time, but in time it becomes clear. Charlie saved my life. I would never want someone to lose that amazing chance.
     Side note for those curious: Jenna’s pillow business took off, and what used to help feed us, now helps pay for the kids school, and our house that we bought with our own money. I worked my way up through a factory into a supervisory position, and now manage a factory of 200.
     My relationship with my parents has never been better. I love my inlaws so much. Jenna and i are able to help others in need. I can’t imagine where i would be if we had choose abortion. Abortion is an evil thing.

     With the exception of a couple of periods added at the ends of sentences, that's exactly as it appears in the cited Twitter thread. Note especially this stunner of an admission:

     He [baby Charlie] made me be a man.

     If only more unintentional fathers-to-be felt that way.


Oldfart said...

"... a truly inspiring Twitter thread that brought tears to my eyes."

Mine too. Been there but my story didn't turn out so well It still bothers me... especially at this time of the year.

Merry Christmas, Fran.

Col. B. Bunny said...

Great story.

Pascal said...

Beautiful present for this reader. I wish I could reciprocate. Thanks for sharing -- and coming out on your Xmas break.

MMinLamesa said...

Man, have I ever fucked up my life.

Linda Fox said...

Surprisingly, it's not generally the expectant fathers that are the problem. It's the mothers of the pregnant girl who don't want their own lives to be impacted.
It's the colleges that make no accommodations for pregnant students.
It's the friends that discourage the girl from marrying the father, using the argument that "he's not good enough for you".