A Stranger’s Story
After Mass today at St Rita’s Catholic Church in Show Low, Arizona, we were approached by a gentleman who was interested in writing a story in the local newspaper about our group. Similar situations had happened numerous other times while on Crossroads, but we were excited and flattered for yet another opportunity to share our story and our mission. As the reporter was getting ready to take a group photo, however, something happened. The gentleman’s disposition changed completely.
His next few words left a sketch of love and heartbreak that will be forever etched upon my heart. He explained that not all Catholics are pro-life, and he used to be “on the fence” concerning the very controversial issue of abortion. We listened, taken in by his fervor and excitement. Then, he paused for what seemed like an eternity. Emotion caught in his throat as he explained an event that convicted his heart.
He shared that his sister had been aborted in Spain. He did not provide many details, but his heartbreak was written across his countenance. My heart went out to him as I recognized that he was denied the privilege of growing up with a sister to befriend, play with, and tease. Having been blessed with two sisters and two brothers, I am keenly aware of the impact that they had on my childhood and they continue to have in day to day living. He was denied this privilege, as his sister was denied the right to life.
My heart also went out to his mother, who must have been put in a position of such confusion and uncertainty. By her decision to abort her daughter, she lost the privilege of countless hours of hair brushing, heart to hearts, and shopping trips. She was never able to console her daughter in boy issues, teenage drama, and daily life adventures.
My heart also went out to his father, who may or may not have been aware of his daughter’s existence. Because of this abortion, he was never able to take her to a father/daughter dance, never able to scare away potential suitors, or never able to walk her down the aisle. He was never able to spoil her with the love and affection that only a father can provide, and he was never able to see her smile light up in the afternoon sun.
This one stranger’s story helped me realize the universal impact that abortion has on families. His story and his tears will continue to echo in my heart as I strive to build a culture of life and love in this country.
-Jessie Graehler, Southern Route
(picture from google images)