Dear (Murdered) Brother,

            Nearly five decades have passed and still your death brings shame and regret to our family as if it happened yesterday. I honestly hadn’t given you much thought until now. I don’t know why. I have spent the entirety of my Christian walk trying to make sure mom was alright. I thought more for her feelings than for yours. I thought about the hurdles she would face as I openly fought for life, as we celebrated Right to Life Sunday at church, as we prayed through scriptures aloud to usher in healing for those who have experienced murder in their families or had abortions during the season leading up to Yom Kippur each year. I have spent all this time making sure mom was alright. Then all-at-once, just the other day, it hit me: I am not alright. You are not alright. This whole choice that mom was forced to make as a teenager and was legally able to make really damaged our family. So I decided to write you this letter.

Luke 12:2 Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.

You’d be nearing 48 years old now, dear brother. How strange it was for me to be the firstborn but really the middle child. I was raised as the oldest and didn’t know you existed until I entered my twenties. I had all the stereotypical qualities of a first-born: a controlling and bossy manner of dealing with others, a need for structure, a desire to excel at everything, and a hunger to overachieve. But you are six years my senior. Oh, what it could have been like to have an older brother to protect me and go before me. Perhaps I would have fared better against many of the temptations and abuses I suffered as a result of your absence. You could have told me which elementary teachers to request and which to avoid. You could have sat with me on the bus and perhaps distracted me enough to get through the commute without getting sick every day. You could have taught me such cool things: bike tricks, math shortcuts, how to shoot a BB gun. Oh, how I mourn the childhood I was deprived of.

Matthew 5:4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

In God’s grand design, He created me to be the younger sister to your murdered frame. We have a younger brother too, you know. You have six nieces and nephews. My heart is broken for you, dear brother. Although we do not share a father, I know we’d share certain features. Would you have our grandpa’s nose? Would you have needed glasses like him? Our mother’s big toe seems to be a dominant gene. Would you like card games or dancing? Perhaps you’d have loved baseball as I do. I’m sure you would have taken me to ballgames over the summer months and kept those creepy older guys away from me at the ballpark with a stern brotherly look. Perhaps you would have even come to my many high school softball games? Would you have been there when I hit a grand slam home run? Would you have come to my school play and watched me perform in The Crucible or would you have been off to college then earning your master’s degree in something amazing? I’m sure I would have visited you in college and you’d have laughed at the way I drove standard. I was better as time went. If you’d gone to S.U. and seen me drive on those hills near the dome trying to maneuver from stop light to stop light without rolling backward into a tailgater, I’m sure you would have laughed at me. But you weren’t there in 1995. Your place in my past was severed.

Psalm 34:18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

You weren’t there when I lost my first tooth or rode a bike without training wheels. You weren’t there to help our younger brother and I build forts at the big pond across the road. You weren’t there to encourage us to get through my father’s drunken rages or our mother’s depression. You were murdered before you even took your first breath.

Psalm 139:13-16 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

I know our mother suffers, brother. She suffers and struggles to forgive both herself and our grandparents who insisted you’d make a mess of things. Whenever you’re mentioned, the twinge of pain that crosses her face hasn’t lessened or diminished in the 47 years that have passed since your death.

Isaiah 49:15 Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne?

I am so glad mom did decide to tell me about you. She could have kept all of that pain locked up inside her weary heart, but she chose to speak the truth. She chose honesty and transparency. She chose healing and has mourned your passing. She has chosen to let me share this letter with you so that you know that you aren’t forgotten.

Proverbs 10:11 The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.

Please know this, dear brother: You are not unwanted. You are acknowledged. You are remembered. You are important. You have purpose even though your life was cut short. As I live, I promise to continue to help others see the pain, suffering, brokenness and self-loathing that abortion can bring to a family. Mom has made this a priority as well. This is your legacy. We love you.

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

James 5:16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

James 5:16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

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**UPDATE: Here is the comment from my mom who lovingly and selflessly gave me permission to post this blog post: Before this was posted, I read it, and wrestled with having it out there. What would my family think, or my friends? But I knew the time had come. I realized that if it helps to prevent even one abortion, it’s worth it. In all fairness to my parents, they were told a lie and I accepted it also. Back then, in 1972, Planned Parenthood insisted that was “okay” to have an abortion up to a certain date because it wasn’t really a baby yet, and it was the best option for my and my 16 year old boyfriend. Even though I was told it was “okay”, I fought it as much as a teenage girl could back then. And grieved. Oh how I grieved. I know that my most merciful Savior has forgiven me but I still struggle with forgiving myself. Today, the truth about these precious little human beings is being taught. Thank God. Let the true healing begin.

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