Greetings everyone! I hope you are enjoying your summer. I have been working on a new project making YouTube videos called "Gigi's One-Handed Ways." I will be demonstrating many of the things I do on a regular basis. For example, playing the piano keyboard, tying a shoe, cutting vegetables, clipping my nails, etc. My primary care physician suggested this and thought it could be interesting and informative for those who may also be in a similar situation. Or maybe just curious about how I do the things I do. The first video was posted yesterday. I am playing and singing, "His Eye is on the Sparrow." I hope you enjoy.
When Richie was six weeks old, I returned to see my OB/GYN for a routine postpartum checkup. I was 18 years old, healthy and strong. When I went to the doctor’s office that day I had no suspicions that my doctor would find a problem, yet he did.
The doctor gently told me that I had developed a large growth in my pelvis. He suggested that we wait a month to see if it would shrink. If there was no change, I would need to have surgery. The mass was about the size of a grapefruit and had completely enveloped one of my ovaries. My doctor was unsure of what it was, and Terry and I wondered if I might have cancer.
After the predetermined time, I returned and the doctor said that I needed to have the surgery. Richie was only three months old when I was admitted to Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. My sister Cheryl, happily offered to take care of our baby during my hospitalization.
Since Terry and I wanted to have our children close together, I was not on birth control, so on the day before the surgery I asked for a pregnancy test, and for some reason, they did two tests. One of them came back negative and one positive. If I was pregnant, I would have been one or two weeks along. I had already had abdominal x-rays and knew that a growing baby in my uterus could be harmed.
As you may recall, the Roe v. Wade decision had legalized abortion just two years prior in 1973. I wish I had known back then what I know today: That the itty-bitty zygote contains all the DNA needed to become a baby, that from conception to birth this is a living being, a little person in-the-making. I didn’t know that in less than a month from conception there is a beating heart pumping blood through the baby’s tiny body. I didn’t know that within just weeks after conception, tiny arm and leg buds would start to grow. Why didn’t I remember that God is the Creator of all life? Why didn’t I remember the words my mother had read to me from Psalm 139? “We are knit together in our mother’s wombs.”
Terry and I talked about what we should do; however, I don’t think we discussed it with anyone else, which was a big mistake. We were totally unprepared. I do not recall hearing the topic of abortion discussed at home or church, but I wish I had. I believe I would have chosen differently.
Since the surgery was upon me the next day, Terry and I told the doctor that we wanted him to give me a D&C before my operation. In other words, I was asking for an abortion! I knew exactly what I was saying even though I did not call it an abortion. How could I have made such a decision? I think I believed that since a fertilized egg is so minute, destroying it would not be that big of a deal. How wrong I was! To this day, I regret my choice.
When I woke up after surgery my first question was not, “Do I have cancer?” but, “Was I pregnant?”
“No, you were not pregnant,” the doctor replied. I was relieved and tried not to dwell upon what could have been. That was 40 years ago, and thankfully, I know for certain that God has forgiven me; I am free.
Today there are many organizations in which groups of loving people bring life-giving restoration to those who have experienced the pain of abortion. One with which I am familiar is called “Rachel’s Vineyard.” They truly love women and want to see them made whole through the love of Christ. Coming face-to-face with this oft-buried secret in a supportive and understanding environment brings healing and release to those who have harbored deep sorrow and guilt from the past.
The growth in my pelvis turned out to be a benign dermoid cyst which destroyed one of my ovaries. And now, at 19 years old, I wondered, “Will God bless us with another baby?”
Merry Christmas to you all!
What a privilege to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!
This will be my third Christmas since Terry died. Do the holidays get easier? For me the answer is a definite, "yes." My first Christmas without him was undoubtedly the most difficult. For one thing, the days leading up to Christmas felt uncertain because I wasn't sure how I was going to feel when Christmas actually did arrive. To be sure, I had my moments of tears and sadness as I looked at the tree and saw our family-picture ornaments from years gone by. And nobody could clean the Christmas turkey like Terry; he always peeled the potatoes too. And I remember how much he enjoyed filling the Christmas stockings. That was always his job and although I have taken over that responsibility, I know that I am lacking in originality and quantity. I think my family understands though. Once I made it through that first Christmas, I knew I would be okay; I could face the future.
My focus is not really on the gifts but the giver, Jesus Christ, who came in a very humble fashion to live a perfect life and then to die to redeem us from sin. Because of Him, we can have eternal life if we choose to say "Yes" to Jesus. He is absolutely our greatest gift. And that is something to celebrate!
Why was I born this way?" I cried on my daddy’s shoulder. Tears flowed from deep within my soul releasing a sorrow I had not realized was there as a 12-year-old girl. My skinny frame shook as I tried to catch my breath.
“I don’t know why you were born this way, but I knew this day would come,” Dad softly spoke as Mom’s sublime presence saturated the room. My brothers and sisters had gone off to school without me; my desk in my sixth-grade class would remain empty. I needed to deal with this important issue today and it would not be put off.
I call that day in 1968, my “Day of Crisis.” Dad and Mom wisely allowed me to express my raw emotions. No easy answers were offered; no Bible verses were quoted that day. I needed to experience the pain and realization that I would never be like everyone else. I knew that I would always look and feel different from others and would invariably be gawked at, ostracized, pointed to, or questioned: “What’s wrong with your arm?”
How many sets of eyes jerked away when they noticed I saw them staring? On that particular day, I came head-to-head with reality. My life would indeed be different from that of my brothers and sisters and I would have to live with that, like it or not.
Although I did not realize it at the time, Dad’s grief surpassed my own. When I was born without my left forearm and hand, Dad immediately believed he was to blame. He knew he had led a sinful life, and even though he had come to repent and been saved, he felt his sins had somehow been so great that they caused my disability while I was growing inside my mother’s womb. Dad believed that his little girl was suffering because of him.