From an online news article today on msn.com:
“Life is on the wire,” Karl Wallenda once said. “Everything else is just waiting.”
WOW. And to think I was wondering about what I was going to write about today – this, the last day of our Fall 2014 40 Days for Life campaign.
On this, the last weekend of our vigil, two now-famous people demonstrated to the nation, and likely the world, their sad personal misunderstandings of the infinite value of human life from birth through natural death – Brittany Maynard, the young terminally ill wife who “successfully” took her own life today, and Nik Wallenda, the husband and father who so rashly and seemingly glibly flirted with his own death by scaling three Chicago skycrapers on a highwire this evening. Huge media events. Juxtapose these with an unknown young lady in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who yesterday burst out of the front doors of Planned Parenthood, after entering them for her abortion appointment shortly before, to announce she had chosen LIFE for her baby. She, her family, and now us, are among the few now privy to this spectacularly joyous news.
There is so much rolling around in my head that I could write about all this. But I’ll spare you my dissertation because a) I know you are all thinking and feeling the same things about that strange combination of events as I am, and b) I don’t want to waste any more time before sharing Kathy M’s account of yesterday’s blessed event in her own words! Kathy posted this in the Comments section of yesterday’s blog entry. Nikki suggested I post it again, in case anyone missed it due to the fact that it was “at the bottom” in the Comments. Here it is:
This is a note especially to Maggie, but I hope others will also benefit. I was with the Holy Wisdom contingent today. My family and I are members of the Holy Wisdom Latin Mass Community. Maggie, I want you to know that Our Lord heard your prayers. We had an important rescue today. The couple who went in with the young mother’s mom were touched by God’s grace and decided to spare the little life in the womb. I was surprised at how busy the abortion clinic was today. I arrived at a time when many of the women were coming out – post abortion. I was busy offering information about resources for healing such as Rachel’s Vineyard. When the young woman emerged with her boyfriend and mother, she was still very distraught and had tears in her eyes. I naturally assumed that she had had an abortion. They all looked a little shell-shocked. They stopped within the bubble, but I offered some literature and some kind words, and the mother of the crying younger woman reached out and took the information. I continued to talk and the mom said, “She’s not having it [the abortion].” I then addressed the younger mom, and beckoned her to come over to me, which she did. I embraced her and held her very tightly, and told her over and over again that she was not alone – that she had made the right decision and that God will bless her. I asked if the young man with her was the father and they all acknowledged this, so I congratulated him, too. I think that the weight of their decision was just settling in, and she was not completely sure that she had done the right thing. She was obviously very frightened. Another counselor came to offer information on various resources and this encouraged the young mother very much. I gave her my personal contact information, as well. The mother of the younger woman told me that she had had an abortion many years ago, before she was pregnant with her daughter, and that she had terrible regrets about it. Despite this, she had told her daughter that she would stand by her no matter what she decided – abortion or not! I suggested that she, the grandmother of the child in the womb, reach out to Rachel’s Vineyard for her own sorrow, and gave her the contact information again. Of the three, I think the young father was having the most difficult time with accepting this new life that he had helped create. He definitely seemed the most detached, the least emotionally involved in what was going on. I know that the presence of the prayer warriors was critical, and also the powerful prayers that sent the angels to the side of this beautiful, young and vulnerable woman today. Later on, when the family emerged from the clinic, our group had our own role to play. It was a team effort all around. Key, as well, was the fact that the Planned Parenthood personnel did a sonogram. Once this young mother saw her baby in the sonogram (@ 9 weeks), she became very, very upset. This image made all the difference to her. My sign indicated that there is a heartbeat at only 3 weeks, and they shook their heads as they read this – they had obviously seen the little heart organ throbbing away, and this, too had made a tremendous impression on them. The young mother was only 18 and desperately wanted to continue her university studies. She did not want to disappoint her family, particularly her maternal grandfather whom she was very close to. But in the end she could not bring herself to kill. Very, very important was our presence giving them the support that they needed, letting them know that they were not alone, and reaffirming that they had courageously made the right decision. The other counselor told the young woman about a program that offered free babysitting to college students who had gone through a crisis pregnancy. The young mother REALLY responded to this offer of assistance. I hope that they will follow up with me. I told them that I wanted to be invited to the baby’s Baptism, and that I would supply the cake! They all laughed at that. I also showed them a photo of my own daughter, who was also rescued in utero. They were very, very interested and impressed by this. I talked a lot about God, and constantly told them to place everything in His hands. Praise God for this miraculous save today!!! I am encouraged and pretty confident that the young mom will not change her mind. She took a photo of the sonogram image with her iPhone and I believe she is going to post it. I overheard the mother of the young woman making a call to a family member, and she smiled broadly as she said, “I’m going to be a grandma!” She told me that this was the first announcement. They have a long road ahead of them, so please, please everyone keep this young family in prayer. The couple is not married, although they have been together for a good long while.
PRAISE GOD!!!!!!! TO HIM BE THE GLORY!!!!!!! Let us all pray for this young woman, her baby, the baby’s father, the grandma – the whole family!!!
My own story from today is much more mundane – but at least you get to see a photo of our wonderful leader Nikki! This morning, I (Sue M.) covered the 7:00-10:00 a.m. shift. When I got there I was kind of wondering who would be coming to pray with me; the previous blog entry hadn’t indicated that folks were needed for my hours, but that’s all I knew. I arrived and was talking with Diane and Tom, who were there as always to drop off the signs and Big Black Box, when who to my wondering eyes should appear walking toward us but NIKKI!! She and Bob, a fellow parishioner of hers, had apparently seen a need, and they came down to keep me company. HOW BLESSED we are to have such an amazingly caring leader!!! The morning had its usual detached passersby and was very quiet, giving Nikki, Bob, and I much time for some heavy-duty prayer. And pray we did. We sang, too. The prayer and vocalizing warmed our hearts and definitely helped to stave off the nasty cold wind that attempted to attack us several times. Hopefully it also served to help a bit to “cover” the clinic a bit for the week to come.
Rich and Roseann, whom I will dearly miss seeing every week, as always covered the 10:00a-1:00p shift. Here is their account:
Brrrr !!!! We had one with shivers, one with knees knocking, one with teeth chattering and one with a runny nose BUT we were warm in our witnessing together. We could have used a little sun but the sun never shines on 933 Liberty Ave. The only sunshine we had was Arleen from St. Maurice, Maria and Michael from Assumption, and Amber, Megan and Katie from St. John the Baptist who came to stand with us. People were friendly today (maybe because Steeler excitement was in the air). On this last day of 40 Days for Life I would like to thank all of those who came to PP to pray with us. See you all at the next 40 Days.
As our Fall 2014 vigil closes, I too want to thank all of you. All of you prayer warriors. All of you holy folks who are so blessed not only to know what is most important in life but also to actively stand and pray for it. May GOD BLESS ALL OF YOU!!! Stay tuned for tomorrow’s “Day 41” blog entry, with coverage of the Grand Finale vigil and celebration we enjoyed as a 40 Days Family this evening!!!