By Leann Domico-Vasquez
I learned that my Daughter Lisa, age 19, scheduled an abortion and was at a nearby hospital.
I contacted our parish priest Fr. Dominick and explained the situation. He immediately rushed to the hospital to try and persuade Lisa to change her mind.
Fr. Dominick encouraged Lisa telling her that she would be a wonderful mother. He shared with her what a beautiful gift this child would be to the family.
Lisa walked away from the priest in tears. She went into the procedure room to allow the doctors and nurses to assist in the destruction of her unborn baby.
I cannot explain the level of grief and anger that flooded my heart and soul…my grandchild was dead.
I was filled with rage at the hospital and all involved with the procedure. But I was especially so deeply hurt and angry at my daughter.
Reaching Out from the Pain
Shortly after the abortion I went to talk to Fr. Dominick. He suggested I consider a Rachel’s Vineyard Weekend Retreat to help me find a deeper healing of my loss as a grandparent.
Rachel’s Vineyard was a powerful experience of healing for me and really went to the heart of my post abortion trauma and grief. The weekend helped me to find peace and closure.
Lisa knew of my Rachel’s Vineyard experience. Lisa would react with cynicism and mock my “abortion friends” that I stayed in touch with after the retreat. I knew she was hurting and in need of healing.
A Miracle Unfolds
Six months after the abortion, my son asked Lisa to be the Godmother of his baby boy. This event triggered a release of her pent up post abortion grief and pain and Lisa suffered a nervous breakdown requiring hospitalization. Lisa recovered from the breakdown, but remained deeply wounded.
Two years after the abortion she met a man with an abortion in his history. He encouraged her to consider the Rachel’s Vineyard weekend. When Lisa told me she was considering making a retreat, I was overjoyed.
She expressed some reservations… “Did they already know her story? Would I be able to name my child?” I let her know that on my retreat I told my story…not hers.
I assured her that the name I gave my grandchild was a temporary one and that she as the child’s mother would rightly provide the name God would put on her heart.
I was blessed to be able to attend the memorial service on Sunday of the Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat with Lisa when retreat participants honor the child with a special ceremony and Mass and entrust the children to the Lord.
When I opened the memorial service program I looked over the list of names of the babies being entrusted.
I knew right away the name Lisa had given my grandchild…Dominick Leonard.
Lisa named the baby after our parish priest, Fr. Dominick.
[You Can Read Leann’s full story here]