Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Child’s Love

I am writing this on the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in the United States. Nearly eighteen months ago, I became a grandfather for the first time. That little girl is the most precious child in the world to me. Last Saturday and yesterday (Monday), I was able to spend both days babysitting while her parents were out of town and my wife was working.

Of course, all grandfathers are prejudiced, but my little girl is absolutely beautiful. Her nearly constant smile and toothy grin are enough to make anyone’s heart melt. She is smart, sings the alphabet song, and her mother is teaching her sign language to enable communication with her hearing-impaired great-grandmother. In the five days she spent with us, I never heard her cry one time. She took her naps and bedtimes without resistance. Yes, she got into everything and our house is far from childproof. I have also become reaquainted with the art of diaper-changing.

She calls me something that sounds like gampaw. Any time I left the room, she would call for me repeatedly until I showed my face. Yesterday during some quiet time, she snuggled up on my lap while we watched a children’s program on television. I nearly drifted off, only to be awakened by her kissing me on the cheek. I looked at her, and she just smiled. That beautiful moment will stay with me forever and I can’t think about it now without tearing up.

Last evening, my son and daughter-in-law returned to take her home. My son has received a job offer that will likely take my granddaughter some 500 miles away. He is a talented organist and has been trying for months to find employment with a Catholic parish as liturgical music director. Unfortunately, those jobs are difficult to find. Those are also jobs that require working every weekend and Christmas. Getting to hold my granddaughter may now be limited to a couple of times a year, another thought that brings tears to my eyes. I love her so much.

On this anniversary of Roe v. Wade, I would simply ask anyone considering an abortion, to reconsider. You may feel lost, afraid, and unloved at this time, but don’t destroy a beautiful child that will love you for the rest of your life. Don’t deprive yourself of those special unexpected moments that will bring everlasting joyful memories. Destroying a life is no remedy for a something unwanted that has happened to you. It can only make things worse. If for some reason, you cannot care for your child, there are couples anxious to experience those beautiful moments themselves. Choose life. Choose love.