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A Memorial Walk
Denise
 
     

It was in April of 1973, Holy Thursday to be exact. I was a frightened 19-year-old who had become pregnant by a married man. I was too afraid to tell my parents. I just needed to make it go away. Planned Parenthood of Rhode Island did not perform abortions then, so they could only refer me to their clinic in New York.

Under a ruse of some kind, I spent the night in a college dorm with friends so that I could board an early flight for New York the next day. Later, I would learn that this flight number was known as the “abortion special.”

The cab ride to the clinic was intimidating, but could in no way prepare me for the excruciating pain to come. I just wanted it to end. I was timid and scared, and the staff treated me like just another number. It was so cold. I did not want to have to go through with it, but I was too scared to face the consequences.

I confessed to a priest the very next day. But, I was never able to forgive myself. The worst of it, however, came years later when I found out that my husband and I couldn’t have children. I had killed the only child I would ever have. I was being punished. And I couldn’t say anything. It took years before I found the grace to forgive myself and begin to heal. I spiritually baptized my child and named her Jaime. Thinking I was “over it,” I moved on.

Then I had the opportunity to place a brick in the walkway of the memorial to the unborn at my church. The first time I saw it and the words, “In memory of Jaime, 1973,” I cried. I now had something concrete to touch and see and remind me that it really happened. Only then did I really begin to mourn the loss of this child. A child whom I hope to see in Heaven someday. And now, like many others who have joined this movement, I will speak up for Jaime and all the other unborn babies who will never have the chance to be born. Now, I can be silent no more.

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Priests for Life
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