Sunday, May 4, 2008

Opening Questions

Does anybuddy remember the 1970s? When were you in school? Can you relate to either young woman's situation? Do you know someone who has lost a baby? Do you know someone who raised a child alone? I may be opening a can of worms here, but what's your opinion about abortion?

Wow! Bonnie, I like the way you are just jumping right in there.

Yes, I remember the 1970's. I graduated from high school in 1966, married in 1969, and was in college during the 1970's. Although I cannot relate personally to either young woman's experience, I remember quite well in the 1960's when several people I knew "had to get married". Giving one's baby up for adoption (an excellent, but heart wrenching book on this is Ann Fessler's The Girls Who Went Away—The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v. Wade) or getting married were the common options available as I don't know of any women during my teens and early twenties who opted to raise their children on their own. Abortions were illegal and I only heard of one woman who had an abortion (a divorced neighbor with five children who had an affair with a married man and had a very risky abortion at a motel about 80 miles from our city).

I know of several women who have suffered late term miscarriages or still births. Such a loss would be very difficult. My sister was irritated when one of my friends who lost her only baby shortly after his birth many years ago related it to my 29 year old son's death last summer. My sister felt that there was no comparison. I think that the sorrow would be just as deep. I was blessed that I had my son for 29 years. My friend not only did not get to know her son, but never had other children. It was a major loss for her and I have appreciated her comfort that she has given to me--instead of ignoring it after a few weeks like so many have, she will sometimes ask how I am doing. She told me recently that on her son's birthday, she and her husband take off from work and go someplace special in his memory.

I think abortion is a very tragic option. However, in some cases, it is the "best" of all of the rotten choices available because of financial, physical, or emotional situations or because of the health condition of the unborn baby. It is not an option to be taken lightly, but I think it is an option that should be available.

At first, I thought the book was slow because of its descriptive style. However, it soon picked up and the character portrayals certainly make one feel a part of each of their lives. I have received another book from the library (Little Heathens--Hard Times and High Spirits on An Iowa Farm During the Great Depression by Mildred Kalish) that I won't be able to renew since it is a newer book so I have put Windfalls aside to try to get this Little Heathens read before it is due.

I loved the meaning given to the chapter title "Because".

1 comment:

alisonwonderland said...

i've added The Girls Who Went Away to my to-read list. thanks for the recommendation, Shirley.