Monday, May 23, 2011

birthday and not

Just realized that today would have been my father's 87th birthday, gone these fifteen years now.

I had an abortion on this day in 1978, about a year after Joe and I'd separated, the pregnancy a consequence of a brief, stupid, mutual indulgence. That child would have been about 32 years old today, I guess, but I have never regretted that choice. Not once. Even when I was in agonizing pain from the unanesthetized, state-funded procedure. Not even then. I owed my best effort to my already-here children; another unplanned would have been our undoing, since we all depended exclusively on my earned income.

Having the procedure on my dad's birthday was incidental, and a bit weird and inconvenient, and became a secret I never revealed to him, but it has also served as a reminder every May 23rd that sometimes making a hard choice, doing something eternally painful and sad is still worth it all this time afterward.

How many women write that story? Usually the story you hear from the media is the trumpeting of religious zealots and their pimped remorse; almost never do you hear from the women who chose to end a pregnancy and continue to feel it was the right decision. Well, here is one.

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