It’s easy to take life for granted; we live each day without thinking about the times where we could’ve died. Let’s face it; every time we drive a car or take a bite out of our sandwich, there’s a chance that things could go wrong. Great way to start a day, right? But there’s a second fact; every day, thousands of lives are lost to abortion. No, I’m not gonna pound into your brain how abortion is wrong; that isn’t my job.

However, if I had a different mother, there’s a chance I might not be here today.

A bit of background; my mom was nearly forty when she had me. My sister is about eight years older than me, so you can do the math as to when my mom had my sister. Having a kid beyond the age of thirty-five is a big deal on its own, considering the chance for the kid to have disabilities. In our family, it was a bigger deal; my uncle is mentally challenged. There was a chance I could be mentally challenged as well because of the family background and the age my mom was.

My mom chose a lady to help her with the pregnancy. Remember this; that doctor was also pregnant at the time. Mom was specific in telling the doctor not to even bring up the tests that could be done to make sure I was ‘normal.’ Spoilers: we’re all crazy in some way, so that wouldn’t have made a difference. Anyway, the doctor agreed not to mention the tests for that kind of thing.

Like all good melodramas, though, the doctor had her child during my mother’s pregnancy. In walks the new doctor, a man who doesn’t know about mom’s issue with the tests. He suggests them to her. What does my mom do?

She tells him to drop it and refuses the tests.

She even told him no several times and eventually told him to, essentially, knock it off and don’t ask about those tests again. I was born and nothing was wrong with me. I’m grateful that mom didn’t even consider those tests for me. That means she couldn’t care less about how I showed up; she just wanted me there. The short Irish woman my mom is would rather allow me to come into the world than even think about doing tests that could lead to abortion. That’s amazing to me that a mother could love her child like that. I admit, my mother is the scariest person to meet if anyone messed with me. She was willing to allow me to come into the world the way I came and refused to even consider the idea of abortion.

I pray this love will be something I have when I am a mother in the future.

-Jacquelyn “Jackie” Howell

LHS High School Student