Today I was on my way to Starbucks on lunch and I was behind a van with a bunch of bumper stickers on its trunk.
“Pray to end abortion.”
“Choose life. Your mother did.”
“Life is always worth defending.”
For some reason a quick memory flashed in my head. It was Friday morning and I was in third grade at St. Vincent de Paul. We had just put hundreds of white crosses in our school’s front yard in memory of the millions of babies who never saw their own birthday. The Catholic Church has always fiercely defended life, from conception through natural birth and our school was extremely pro-life. Our whole school was celebrating mass together that morning and this mass was specifically offered up to end abortion. Ave Maria was being sung by our choir and the distinct organ tones are still in my head. I remember kneeling down and looking over at my teacher, who was maybe 7-8 month pregnant at the time. She had a little gold pin of 2 tiny feet on the collar of her dark green dress. Her hands were folded, her head bowed, and there were tears rolling down her cheeks.
I think that was the very first time I really understood how real abortion was. I was 8-years old. My teacher, a mother-to-be, weeping over all those babies and our whole school praying in unison to end abortion. That moment changed me and I was never the same.
I can’t even imagine what a scene like that would look like in today’s schools but it laid such a strong foundation in me for valuing life and this conviction has never left me. It’s an issue that is so strong and sure that has never been up for debate or wavered. It’s not political debate, it’s moral conviction. I can’t help but think what a different place our country would be if every kids grew up with these moral values deeply ingrained in them. We could change the nation. Bring America back to life. A Godly generation that would be a force to behold.
Then…when I became pregnant with my first, my mother-in-law passed along the same pin, this time a pair of silver feet. She had no idea the memory this tiny pin brought back and receiving it almost brought tears to my own eyes. My mother-in-law was given this pin when she first got married and wore the precious feet the whole time she was pregnant with my husband. So I wore them throughout my pregnancies with both of my children.
What a special memory they always remind me of and now a tradition I can pass to my daughter. Precious, indeed.