Saturday, October 11, 2008

Chapter 17 - An Aborted Baby's Afterlife

September 1948

Solomon parked in front of Jerry Banks’ cabin for the second day in a row. A pink and orange afternoon sky spotlighted the fact that the leaves were beginning to turn their colors. In another month the hillside would be blazing with reds, oranges and yellows. The dogwoods in Jerry’s yard were already turning burgundy. Solomon had hoped the new girl would be outside, but she wasn’t. He was anxious to get a look at this beauty.

As he set off up the path to Pearl’s, he said, “Sarah, do you have time to walk with me?”

“Do hoppy toads jump?” she joked.

“Aah good,” he smiled.

“I heard ye wondering about the aborted baby’s soul,” Sarah said. “I figured I’d let you get to a quiet spot in yer day before I answered ye.” She sighed real big and said, “Okay now, ye know that God emits souls, right?”

“I’ve heard you say that.” He looked sheepishly. “I guess I understand.”

“All souls come from God,” she said. “God gives off souls.”

Solomon looked perplexed. “I’m sorry I’m so slow.”

“Think of it this way,” she said. “Humans breathe air out, and they breathe air in.”

He raised his eyebrows. “Yes and...?”

“God breathes souls out, and He breathes souls in.” Sarah smiled and waited.

“Okay,” he said nodding.

She continued, “At the moment of conception when a sperm penetrates an egg, a pinpoint of light and energy is released. It’s detectable only to the soul preordained for that body.”

“So we don’t choose the body we have?” he questioned.

“No,” Sarah said, “God does the choosing.” She paused again to make sure that he was still following her. “The soul and its body are attracted to each other like two strong magnets.”

Solomon stopped walking and looked up at the sky through the treetops. “Since God does the choosing, I imagine he gets angry at people like me and Ma and Pearl and Ruby.”

“Anger is not part of the equation,” she said. “Before Ruby had the abortion, God knew that she would have it. He knows the future. He also knows the years of confusion and hardship that led Ruby to her decision. God wanted her to triumph over her obstacles, but she didn’t…at least not yet. But God still loves her, and He still wants her to use her freewill to overcome her difficulties. God is patience. He is compassionate. He is merciful. God is love.”

“And as for the soul of the fetus,” Sarah continued, “it is completely happy. It couldn’t care less that its physical body was destroyed. It has a perfect spirit body that’s beautiful and healthy. And because of its innocence, the soul of the fetus immediately returns to God, which is the final destination for all souls.”

“And by the way,” she added, “the soul of every fetus feels an attachment to its mother. The spirit body of Ruby’s fetus will lovingly enfold her and Pearl for the rest of their days on earth, and it will greet them when they pass into the afterlife. Their reunion will be happy and joyful.”

The voice of the Pure One penetrated the veil between heaven and earth. “Glad tidings, Solomon.” The words seemed to echo off every tree in the forest. “Thy soul hath been graced with the third key. Thine is the knowledge of the origin and destiny of the soul.”

Sarah stood transfixed by the voice and by a being that she alone could see. She raised her face and her hands to the sky and listened with tears in her eyes. She dropped to her knees and said, “Yes, Pure One.” She had answered a question heard only by her.

Ruby sat on the front steps and watched Solomon walk up the pathway. He smiled at her from way down the path. “How ya feeling today?” he shouted.

“Feeling fine,” she shouted back at him grinning. And what a fine specimen of a man you are, she thought.

Ruby’s hair and clothes were clean, and she smelled of perfumed soap. Her cheeks had a rosy glow. Solomon sat down on the steps with her. “Yes, I can tell you’re feeling much better,” he smiled.

“Thanks to you,” she said. “Solomon, you are the kindest man I’ve ever met in my life. The woman you fall in love with will be very, very lucky.”

He smiled and dropped his head in modesty as he loaded the hypodermic with penicillin. “Thank you, Ruby. That’s a sweet thing to say.” He pinched her upper arm, “Little stick,” he said. “Are you cramping or bleeding much today?” he asked as he put everything away.

“Naw,” she said, “it's about gone.”

“That’s good,” he said. “After your next period, I want you to come to the office and let Ma or me fit you with a diaphragm. Abortions and D & C’s are two things you don’t want to have if you can keep from it.”

“It wasn’t too bad,” she said. “I just waited too long. I didn’t want Grandma to call you, but I’m sure glad she did.”

“I’m glad she did too,” he said, “but you need to avoid an unwanted pregnancy to start with. Use a condom or a diaphragm. The diaphragm is something you have total control over. A man doesn’t even have to know you have it in. Unwanted pregnancies are hard on a woman,” he continued, “and abortions and D & C’s have their own risks. For instance, that D & C last night could give you problems with placental attachment in the future.”

She looked puzzled.

“D & C’s put you at a higher risk for placenta previa,” he said.

“I don’t know what that is, but it sounds bad,” she said.

Solomon raised his eyebrows, “It can be,” he said, “and abortions have their own set of problems. When a woman gets pregnant, her body makes huge hormone shifts as it prepares to support the fetus. Then when an abortion suddenly stops the process, all those hormone enriched organs are left floundering. Eventually they’re more vulnerable to cancer.”

Ruby’s eyes widened and her head bobbed backwards.

“The solution is not to be in the situation to start with. Think smart about your body, Ruby. Don’t just react to the moment with a man. Be prepared to take care of yourself.”

“Are you telling me that I might get cancer from my abortion?”

“I just want to caution you that it’s not as simple as it seems,” he said. “I honestly don’t imagine you’ll ever have any problems from the abortion, but I want to impress on you the importance of protecting yourself from ever being in the situation again.”

“Okay, I’ll come get a diaphragm next week,” she said.

“No, not next week, go through a complete menstrual cycle,” he said. “Come in after your next period.”

“That’s right. I remember you said that. Okay, I will,” she said, “I promise.”

“And no sex for six weeks,” he added.

“What? You got to be kidding!”

He grinned and shook his no. “I’m not kidding.”

Ruby rolled her eyes and said, “Good grief!”

Copyright © 2008 by Robbin Renee Bridges
Coping with Grief through Afterlife Communication

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