Saturday, May 3, 2008

Windfalls ~ questions for "Because" section

After canning beets all day, Anna's grandmother told her she'd lost a daughter at birth -- her only daughter -- whom she'd named Lucy, from the Latin word for "light." She'd just told Anna about her "conceit" about canning, that she imagined herself "preserving light, you know, caught in those vegetables and fruits -- I was putting up light in those glass jars, saving sunlight down cellar until we needed it, in the dark of winter" (p. 56). Anna lost a child, too, because she chose to have an abortion (pp. 28-30). Cerise decided to keep her baby, a girl she named Melody "because, as she remembered the elementary school music teacher explaining on one of her rare visits to Cerise's classroom, a melody was at the center of every song" (p. 46).

The 1970s were the time of Roe v. Wade (1973) and the Equal Rights Amendment (U.S. House of Representatives in 1971, U.S. Senate in 1972), which read: "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex").

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?

Later, in the next section, is this line ... which may add to whatever we say about these choices:
"Anna remembered how learning of her grandmother's loss had given her a way to face her own" (p. 76).


Ellen D. said...

!!! I haven't obtained the book yet, but I will this week!

Zorro said...

I am waiting to get the book from the library. Should be able to pick it up today. Thanks for the opportunity to read with youl

Ellen D. said...

I thought it a shame that the grandmother's revelation did not somehow come before Anna's abortion, that would have been her only chance to rethink the decision. I wanted Anna to think about her decision more (though it was more realistic that she did not), so that Anna could see that even after a lifetime, she won't stop thinking about the baby that could have been. It seems Anna never really considered anything but abortion. Honestly, from her point of view, I think that is what I would have done in that point of my life--but I am so grateful that never was an issue. Someone that age college/career oriented would let a medical procedure and a few yucky days of healing stop her...they think they can forget...they forget biology...evolution...however, in even if I see that Anna did not think about this nearly enough...but at that point in her life, as smart and educated as she was, it was all about her. She could only see one future.

Interesting that her grandmother's revelation was not devastating to Anna--the knowledge that the aborted baby would not disappear from memory--but healing to Anna. I guess for the first time she realized she was not alone?

The uneducated Cerise wanted the baby to right all the wrongs of her childhood...and frankly, she wasn't capable (?) of envisioning a future like Anna's. She just wanted someone to love her. But so far, she seems like a pretty good mother.

I was 8 in 1973. I didn't know what the word abortion meant until I was probably 12 or 13. It didn't sound so awful then. I think that is like seeing it from the perspective of Anna. That a teen pregnancy would ruin your vision of your life. You think about yourself in those years, not anyone else, and certainly not being a mother (very out of fashion for a college woman in the 70s and 80s to think about a family). Now seeing it from the point of view of a mother--I would opt for life every single time. I would raise my daughter's baby. They are all a blessing.

My view on abortion: it is not a government issue, it is a personal one. Why the big stink? It is not something that affects my life. If you want an abortion, go right ahead, if you can find a doctor who will do it for you. But any doctor shouldn't have to perform abortions if he doesn't believe it is right or safe.

I do know a girl that is raising twins without a husband, but she is living with her parents and so it is like she has 3 parents. It is a loving situation and I think the babies will grow up fine. I have a cousin that had a miscarriage and am always surprised she remembers her lost baby's due date a day of sadness and is certain that the baby she lost was her girl (she has 4 boys).