A loving supportive Mom of a teenager, I was really trying. Had I done it all wrong?
|Friday morning brought gray clouds and rain. How appropriate! I knew there was a possibility of protesters but hadn’t mentioned it to my daughter, who had enough on her mind. Sure enough, the rain hadn’t kept them away. There were several middle-aged women in polyester pantsuits carrying signs with graphic photos of slaughtered fetuses.
I used my cell phone to call into the clinic for a chaperone to escort us into the building. Someone came out immediately but, as we tried to make our way to the door, one lady shouted, “You are going to kill your baby! We can help you. We’ll arrange for an adoption.”
Another woman pushed herself in front of us, screaming in a hateful voice, “You’re massacring an innocent life!”
I lost it and screamed back, “Leave my daughter alone. This is none of your business!”
We got inside the doors safely. The clinic employees apologized for not being out there when we drove up. Amy was crying.
“Are you okay, babe?” I asked.
“I will be as soon as this is over,” she said.
We were shown into the social worker’s office. It was a calm and pretty place. The colors were a soft green and pink, Laura Ashley prints on deep upholstered furniture. There was a large saltwater aquarium and dim lighting, very peaceful. What a contrast from the scene we had just been a part of.
A beautiful woman in her fifties rose from behind a Queen Anne desk, “Hello, I’m Janis Sutherland and you must be Amy?” she addressed my daughter with a reassuring smile.
Amy nodded and Janis continued, “I know this hasn’t been an easy decision for you. How are you feeling about it today?”
“I am ready to get it over with. Do we have to keep talking about it?” my daughter asked with anger in her voice.
“No, we just want to make sure you know all the options you have. Do you have questions about the procedure?” she asked.
“No, my Mom is an RN and used to work in a clinic like this and she has explained it all to me.”
“There are some papers that need to be signed, okay? Let me know if you have any questions at any time, all right?”
She had a packet of papers. It took about thirty minutes to go through them all with explanations by Janis and signatures.
Then Amy was taken to a prep area so she could change into a hospital gown, have an IV needle put in and get some light sedation prior to the procedure. They had agreed to let me stay with her almost every step of the way and that helped both of us. I was there up until they came for her. So far, everyone was so supportive. I gave her a quick kiss.
It was over in a short time and an RN escorted me into the recovery room where Amy was still very sleepy. The room was a bright yellow with windows that overlooked a small garden. The hospital could take some lessons from this, I thought.
Amy eyes began to flutter open.
Hi, babe, welcome back to the world!” I said.
She smiled and then reality hit. One tear escaped and rolled down her cheek.
She murmured, “It’s over, right?”
“Everything okay?” she then asked.
“It’s fine, you will be back to normal in a few days.” I reassured her.
We went home. Amy slept for most of the day; they had given her some medication for cramping. She had chicken noodle soup for dinner. She was instructed to take it easy over the weekend. I had rented some upbeat movies.
Her Dad called and I lied and said she had the flu. Maybe someday she will be able to tell him. She said goodnight and closed her bedroom door.
Things seemed to be going pretty smoothly until I emptied the trash. There was a hole in the bag so I put trash into another one. Between egg shells and garbage were the shredded remains of a Wild Dog t-shirt. It looked like a knife had been used to cut it crudely. I didn't see any blood.
Amy and Larry Wilder dated for the last two years of high school. It seemed to be a serious relationship. He is lead singer for a band called "Wild Dog". They really were pretty good, like grunge/rock and roll mixed with some R&B. He had a great voice and they were popular for local affairs and played a couple of clubs.
Suddenly, Amy announced they were breaking up. They had both been planning to go to college and now he had an offer to go on the road. OK, I was kind of relieved.
Then she comes to me about the pregnancy, knowing I had worked at a clinic. We had a long talk about options, she cried and it took three weeks to decide. She really seemed okay with her decision and didn't want to discuss it after that. I did hear her arguing with Larry on her iPhone though. At eighteen, I know I shouldn't push her too much. It is her life.
I go into Amy's room. My beautiful perfect daughter, the best thing I have done in my life. How excited we were the day she was born!
I hear my cell phone on the hall table.
Amy's Dad, a prosecutor for the state, wanted to know the last time Amy had seen Larry.
"Why? Is something wrong?"
"His body was found dumped behind a club his band was playing at on Thursday night. I am on my way over to the house."
The phone went dead.
I walked outside, the rain was cascading in sheets. I sat down on the steps, partially in the rain, so I couldn't feel the tears on my cheeks.
By Kathie Stehr
Jan 13, 2021
Word count 701