Wednesday, April 4, 2012

What Might Not Have Been: An Open Letter of Friendship and Choices

Dear Treasuring Grace Ministries

 My childhood best friend, Gail and I were always very different.  I was serious; she was very outgoing and fun. When we got to high school I continued to be shy and my life centered around just a few close friends, she seemed to bloom outward and expand her circle, going to a lot of parties, becoming more popular, having more fun than I did to be sure.

We drifted apart, but still, we shared the seed of friendship that would never diminish.

Shortly after graduating from high school I planned my future. I was headed off to college, focused on a career, on a big life, a bright future.  My friend, Gail, and I met for a shopping trip to discuss her plans.  I had heard she applied to the University, but she seemed a little unsure where her life was going. 
I got in her car and I could see there was something on her mind. 

She started driving and she said to me, “Promise me you won’t hate me.” 
“Okay,” that seemed a very odd way to start a conversation, I thought.
“ I am pregnant.”  Oops.  I thought, this isn’t good.

“What are you going to do?” I asked. Immediately I began to think of all the things she was going to be losing. Her chance at an education, a real life, she really screwed up, I thought. This is a real mess.  I judged her. Internally, I did. On the outside, though, I was trying my best to be supportive and to allow her to tell me what her plan was.

“I don’t know.” She said. She began to cry. 
“I have to tell Tom,” (her boyfriend,) “but I want to keep the baby, of course.”

“Wow.” Of course she would. We were Catholic girls. We used to go to church together. This was going to be hard. But she was going to do it.

We looked at each other. Suddenly all those years where we drifted apart were gone. We were young schoolgirls again, almost reborn in our friendship. A new beginning.

She could have taken another route. A route many girls her age would have. But she took the harder one. I was proud of her.

A year later she married the baby’s father. They are married still to this day, some 25 years later.  They had 2 more sons. One died at birth.

Tom jr., that first child, “out of wedlock,” the one that might not have been, is a blessing to the world. He began volunteering with disabled children as a young teen, and is now doing youth ministry in Jordon.  He is an interesting, loving and special man, who, by the way, attended his parents wedding as a one year old, and was included in the vows.

I was proud to be the Maid of Honor.

Every child-to-be is a special soul whose potential is untold and whose impact on the world could be great.

                                                             ~ A Friend

Image: Flickr:  License
Attribution Some rights reserved by rasdourian

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