I could feel the agony in the terrified girl. She was frightened. In college, 18 years old, still living at home with her mother. And now, burdened with a decision. A decision that no young, single girl should have to face. But a decision that she alone had to come to terms with.
I waited and listened silently. What would she decide? I have to admit, I was a little nervous. For you see, my very life depended on it. I could feel her waver back and forth, back and forth, like the waves lapping upon the sea. First this way, then that. Weighing the pros and cons of the decision in her mind.
'Get rid of it!' her mother told her, 'You'll never get anywhere in life tied down by the baggage that this will bring!'
I waited silently. What would the girl say to that? I knew the decision that I wanted, while beneficial to me, would cause a lot more trouble and work for her in the long run! I could feel the girl take a long breath, then exhale slowly. I felt the girl's hand press up against her stomach, ( up against me!) as she said, 'You know, I think I have decided, Mom. I am going to keep this baby.'
I braced myself for the scorn that would follow. And it did.
But my girl stayed strong. She fought for me. She told everyone, 'I am keeping this baby.'
For nine months, I was a silent spectator to her life. I heard the comments telling her to abort me, the "advice" from "good meaning" people. I sensed the fear in her. I knew she was terrified.
She was in a shaky relationship and knew she might end up being a single mother. Abortion would have been the easy way out. I knew this.
I silently begged her to remain strong.
Meanwhile, I grew big and strong. I kicked and squirmed, and when I would move inside of her, she would place her hand on me, and stop what she was doing. She would stare down at her belly. What was I thinking? What was I feeling? Did I know the turmoil going on in her mind, and in her heart? Could I sense it?
And almost as if I was answering her, I would give her a resounding kick! It was as if I was saying, 'Stay strong, Mama! Stay strong! I'm here!'
And she did.
Here I stand today, no longer the silent spectator. I stand here, very much alive and vocal, because of one scared girl's decision. A decision that many scared girls have had to make, and unfortunately, decided the opposite way of my girl.
How many silent spectators have remained just that- silent? How many have had their voice snuffed out before they even had a chance to draw a breath?
When the world was telling my girl to take an easy way out, she didn't. While I silently observed and listened from my watery home, she stayed strong. She let me grow, she let me thrive, she let me be born, and she loved me.
And so I live. No longer silent, nor will I remain so. Because there are hundreds, maybe thousands, of silent spectators in watery homes wondering what decision their girl will make. For you see, their life hangs in the balance.
Who will be the voice for the silent spectators? Will you? Or you, or you? Or will we all become silent, while the ones who can't speak will remain that way, their lives snuffed out by a decision that they had no control over?
For you see, just as I silently pled with my girl to hang on to me, they are silently pleading with their girls! Since they have no voice, let's be the voice for them! Let's speak up so that they can be heard!
I, Emili Jo, stand here today, no longer a silent spectator. I stand here today, a woman. A woman who is what she is because of a decision that my girl- my Mom- made for me 19 years ago.
And I will be the voice for those silent spectators who have none.
*This is a true story. I wrote this for Emili, the "silent spectator". She performed this at a fine arts competition. Please send this to anyone that might be struggling with an unplanned pregnancy.
Let's be the voice for those who have none.