Updated: Nov 8, 2021
My favorite stories growing up were about wild, adventurous girls with difficult lives. They escaped, explored, and marveled at all the world had to offer them. They found treasures in everything they saw and experienced and did not conform to the boring and mundane confines of the world. Oh, and Nancy Drew! I just loved Nancy Drew Mysteries!
I would climb into the pages with these amazing girls and escape, explore, and frolic in places like Barbados, Switzerland, New England, and anywhere with woods and mountains and oceans. I vividly imagined the ocean breezes and warm beaches; mountains covered in wildflowers and caves for hiding; woods with their trapping mazes of trees and haunting sounds of owls and coyotes; nights of sheltering from a snowstorm; and intricate mysteries only the smart girls could solve.
There was one story, though, that impacted my life more than any other. In fact, this strong, determined lady is why I got the chance to live out any of those adventures I read about in the first place.
I call her “Six.”
The phone rang. “That’s the clinic.” my mom said.
My dad was nearby. “Well, do you want to have this kid, or what?”
“I think I do.”
“Fine, fuck ‘em!”
Mom didn’t answer the phone. This was 1971 when abortion-on-demand was not yet legal, but abortion was, at least in Florida. You just needed a good reason…or to be able to read a script.
Mom had gone to the clinic to see if she could get rid of inconvenient me. She was given the script to tell the docs how she would certainly take her own life if she had to give me mine.
She strayed from the suicide script and began telling the doctors how she had been in my dad’s plane with him and they lost air pressure. She said her nails began to turn blue from lack of oxygen and she was afraid there would be something wrong with me if I had been oxygen deprived, as well.
The docs nodded in agreement and seemed to signal she had a valid concern. They told her when to expect their call and she left the clinic.
Sometime between the audition at the clinic, and the phone call from the docs, Six whispered in my mother’s ear, “Remember me?”
I imagine she followed my mom around whispering those words until she convinced her to save my life. “Remember me?”
Before the days of ripping a baby apart in the womb, a less horrifying way of aborting a child was to introduce air into the womb, which would essentially drown the child. I don’t know how she did it, but somehow Six avoided the air bubble…twice. She was a survivor!!
Two attempted abortions couldn’t take Six down, but a fall did.
According to my mom, she was mopping her kitchen when she slipped and fell. She began hemorrhaging and said, “a large, fibrous tissue” came out. She opened it.
There was Six, fully formed…still moving.
I don’t know what happened next. I don’t know how long my mom held her. I don’t know what she did with her. I don’t know if she cried. I didn’t ask.
I do know it affected my mom enough for her to tell me the story. I have no doubt it affected my mom enough to save my life. I also know that, while Six couldn’t fight hard enough to save her own life, she fought hard enough to rescue me.
Was it worth it? Have I been worthy of her sacrifice? Have I made this world a better place in any way? I sure do hope so!
Would she have done it better? How often does she look at my life and do a face palm or, alternately, how often is she proud of what I’m doing with the gift she gave me?
Yes, life has been difficult at times and always filled with challenges to overcome. However, because of Six’s sacrifice, I have gotten to have the type of adventures I read about as a kid.
I hiked the mountains of Switzerland and camped out at a random, empty barn with new friends I had just met on a train. I got to frolick in the Swiss wildflowers I had imagined in those books.
I snuck into Dachau after it closed, shed tears in the barracks, and could still smell death in the air.
I innocently kissed a boy on a rock in the ocean off the coast of Italy as waves splashed around us.
I have run and played on the beaches of every body of water touching the edges of this great country.
I have climbed and explored the mountains, woods, waterfalls and caves of Colorado, New Hampshire, and many other places.
I have gotten to be part of history and have fought for freedom.
I have been in Jesus’ tomb.
I have lived wildly and experienced so many majestic wonders this world has to offer. I have had the privilege of serving others. I even got to be a police officer for a while, but was disappointed that Nancy Drew failed to mention the politics involved. I still need to go to Barbados, though.
I didn’t chase after money. I chased after experiences, adventures, memories, stories, and ultimately, after a lot of mistakes, I chased after God. Thankfully, He had been chasing me all along.
Only later in life have I realized what a sacrifice Six made for me and how truly blessed I am to get to be alive! Only after my life was shattered and the pieces were put together in a much prettier mosaic, did I start to begin to realize just how beautiful life is. No matter what the circumstances are, a story is being written with a beautiful ending where all the pieces come together.
I hope Six is enjoying watching my life. I hope I’ve lived the kind of life she would have, if given the chance. I am so grateful I got to accept her gift of life! My life isn’t my own. It was bought with a price and she deserves for me to live it to the fullest, since she didn’t get to.
Would you do life any differently if you knew you were living because someone else died?
Because you are!
Jesus died so you could truly live and have an abundant life. Really! All you have to do is accept His sacrifice and His gift of life and live the way you think He would live it.
He’s just waiting for you to ask Him in…
(Additional: I read this story to my mom and asked permission to make it public. She asked to call me back. She called the next day and I could tell shame, guilt, and fear had all attacked her pretty hard. Of course, they’d been attacking her for about 50 years.
She gave me so many worldly reasons why making this public could be detrimental. I prayed and listened silently as she slowly convinced herself otherwise. Without me saying a word the call that was initially made to ask me not to publish this ended with her saying, “If this story can save one baby’s life, then it’s worth it.”
I am so proud of my mom! It takes so much courage and bravery to expose yourself this way. I’m proud of her for choosing the difficult path that affects eternity positively, rather than the easy path that concerns itself with what the world thinks. She’s my hero!)