Sunday, March 22, 2009

Europe

Tragedy - a sexual relationship with a playboy, and pregnancy.

Mare was careful and knew how to avoid pregnancy.

When she got pregnant, she was 27 and something snapped. Rob already had a son and she loved his 10-year-old son.

She got careless intentionally, but when she discovered she was pregnant, she still went ballistic.

She never realized that her understanding of what to do to avoid pregnancy had been correct all along. It was still rather surprising.

She went to a church service for Christmas Eve and the part about Mary hearing that she was going to give birth hit her between the eyes. Suddenly she just knew she was pregnant. It was prophetic.

The guy revealed so soon that he was not playing for keeps. She had gotten herself in a bad relationship. His son said she was "one of" the ones his dad would consider for marriage - a consolation?

The guy was in deep in a wrong lifestyle with different women.

He was in a band that played locally, and Mare met him one night when visiting the club. It was a top 40 band and not a source of any adequate money.

He and his son lived like hippies. He looked like a hippie, sort of.

He was Italian (go figure!) He had dark brown hair, curly, was handsome, sort of Mick Jaggerish or something. He wore round wire rims. Mare was a sucker.

Mare met a girl who was in love with him, sitting down at table one night in a night club where he played, but only after getting pregnant, after it was too late to just walk away.

The girl said that she and Rob had a special bond because of their shared belief in God. He had gotten Mare on the God thing too, just because he understood some things about God.

Sensing that she was talking about a shared belief that was weird, Mare asked who she thought God was. "Hare Krishna" she said. Mare could have dropped through the floor. He had only told Mare that he had been raised Catholic.

Mare yelled at him for not telling her. He gave her some smooth explanation such as: I wanted to wait til you could appreciate my beliefs before labeling me according to your preconceived notions about what believing in Hare Krishna means.

You guessed it, Mare found herself, before long visiting the Krishna temple just out of sheer shock and curiosity, having no desire for the religion whatsoever.

She didn't go with Rob however. She had this awesome friend named Amos who was a native of L.A., a guy with normal feelings towards others based on a fairly healthy background.

She loved him as a friend. He did some kind of work but did music on the side, was in a band, said his brother had once dated a member of the original Sat Nite Live cast - the one with the cherry red curly hair.

Amos was a decent friend and one who helped share the shock of pregnancy with Mare when it happened.

He was a fairly intellectual sort who loved to have fun but wasn't wild or destructive. Once he suggested that just for fun they should go to the emergency room of a hospital and say they are doing a journalistic story for school, and hang out and watch all the people who get brought in just for entertainment.

As maybe God would have it, they went to one but the help told them it was a slow night and they gave up waiting.

Amos also enjoyed doing other things for the humor of going where you aren't exactly supposed to be but pretending to be there for other reasons, such as what was just mentioned.

One of his other fun things to do was to go to the Krishna temple for the free food and pretend that he was a potential devotee.

He told Mare he did this, on occasion, after learning of her "boyfriend" and his religious leanings.

So, together with Amos, Mare went to the Krishna temple of Los Angeles - a huge place with lots of those eastern paintings, must've been of Krishna, but they were mostly in blue and absolutely garishly awful.

The food is offered for free, but they hope that you will begin to make contributions if they notice you are a regular.

They don't try to verify if you believe in it or not, they just don't want you to keep eating without making offerings, and that's probably not something you'll do if you have no desire for the religion.

Unless you are Amos.

Mare could never have come back for that food, personally, it was from Indian culture, but not the kind of finer food from an Indian restaurant and she found it to be horrible.

But Amos was a "starving" artist. He claimed he needed the free food. The food is offered to Krishna and Mare didn't believe in Krishna so she figured the food had nothing in it to worry about.

Today she would view all of this very differently, but at this time in her life it was time to learn and get experience that would teach.

Her "boyfriend" was there and was with that girl from the club. Amos, through humor and compassion, helped Mare through the painful reality as a true friend.

Some member of the religious order recognized Amos from coming there too often and decided he was a fake. The guy told him to leave, and they did, but on the way out Amos yelled

"I'll never believe in little blue men!!!"


Amos and Mare, having established a friendship before the pregnancy, went one night (pre-Rob) to a coffee house in L.A. - very popular, and upstairs a guy played soft folk music of the Dylan type and downstairs a band did hardcore punk and punkers danced.

Mare danced and got around some different people but felt accepted.

His friends and he were pretty decent, and his brother was there to play, but as in so many settings, she was still an outsider.

One night (post-pregnancy) Mare visited Rob at one of his "gigs" and danced, thinking the whole time, "I wonder if this hurts a baby at this early of a stage." It was early enough and no danger, but she didn't have information.

She wasn't going for special care yet. But Mare didn't go in for anxious dependence on doctors in the first place. This was her normal way of dealing with any physical problem.

Another night at one of his gigs, his band mate announced that he was one of those rock and rollers who "gets girls knocked up", which was based on only one pregnancy - Mare's, absolutely bragging about it.

Rob didn't know Mare was there. He noticed later and apologized about it. He told her he had a hard time getting his wife pregnant so he had been sure he was sterile. Possibly other unprotected "experiences" had made him pretty sure about this.

Rob lived in a one-room apartment with his son. It was part of his religion. He believed in this. Mare was simply drawn to his close relationship with his son.

His son was a precocious ten year old who was raising his father. He told Mare one night when she hung out at the apartment waiting for his father to return that he wished his father could be just one of those nerdy nice guys and settle down with a woman.

That's when he told her that she was a candidate for marriage, but along with others. He was exasperated with his father's lifestyle.

Mare had another friend living across the courtyard of her apartment shared with a Bostonian named Sarah. His name: Mike.

This friend was also only about three years younger. He was tall and handsome with dark hair. He was very conservative, worked a normal day job and was very responsible. He absolutely couldn't access the passionate needs of her heart, but he was a sweet and loyal friend.

He said if she wanted an abortion, he would help her do that, and if she wanted the baby, he'd help her with that - whatever she chose. He wasn't sure about abortion at the same time that Mare was in a terrible turmoil trying to decide if it was wrong as well.

Deep down her conscience said it was wrong.

She couldn't fall asleep at night until she would make up her mind not to have an abortion.

Through the day, she'd go over the choices, and there were no real "choices." Every way to go was terrifying and terrible in her mind.

She was still trying to resolve the past with her family, her parents.

She distrusted them thoroughly, and the child would force her not only to go back and live near or with them, it would force her to subject a whole new person to the very same things that were tearing her up inside.

She had no autonomy, no stable life or job. She felt obligated then to return to her parents. The thought of adoption was so painful, it really didn't seem to be an "option" at all.

What if this was the only child she ever bore? What if the chance would never come again?

She had never planned to have a child until life was ironed out in some way to have some shape, some substance of health and normalcy, and then to have a strong, stable life with a man who wanted to be her husband.

This was her ultimate goal. Especially after this experience, she would never allow pregnancy to occur again without marriage.

Having the child, keeping it, adoption - all of it weighed heavily and all of it spelled disaster, and/or heartbreak to the maximum degree.

She could just picture having this body all stretched out from a child she'd had, but no child!

She resented the thought of going through all that and ending up with nothing as a reward for all that she would endure or sacrifice.

Women endure pain, they endure the change or damage to their bodies, but there is something to look forward to that overrides all of that.

But the emotional pain of letting her child go - that was beyond her grasp to even imagine. She'd be alone again, thinking of her lost child.

Abortion was a way to avoid going through the pain and the losses physically, and to avoid the overwhelming responsibility, and to avoid most of all having to return to life with her parents.

But abortion doesn't remove the pain of being alone again and thinking of a lost child. The physical consequences of abortion were never explained to her.

She did go to a counselor at a family planning clinic.

God put people in her path to help with this choice.

Rob surprisingly was completely opposed to abortion as being unquestionably wrong. His new religion, though obviously not in the least having altered his free wheeling sexual lifestyle, embraced all living things, thankfully, and his former religion was Catholicism.

Need I say more? He told her he couldn't believe how emotionally upset she was. The intensity of emotion that had caused "episodes" in the past was compounded by her being pregnant.

The counselor at the clinic told her that she herself had given birth to two children earlier in life that were given up for adoption, and that she would have an abortion if it were today.

But, she also told her to just stop, breathe, and ask herself if she thinks that abortion is wrong. If the answer is "yes" then she should walk away and forget all about abortion. Mare knew the answer immediately
.

She left the clinic and walked out on the beach near the clinic, which was Venice beach. It was teaming with life and people were playing volleyball and roller- skating.

She sat and watched people and realized that there was no question about the fact that God still loved people and that they were created in his image, and that no matter how things looked in the world, that God embraced human life.

A strange light, a warm , tender presence enveloped her as she had this "revelation." The human life inside her was precious in his sight.

She walked to a cafe that was on the beach and ordered a beverage, trying to gain composure in spite of being scared out of her mind.

What would she do?

I tell you what she did. Her friend across the courtyard came to see her one day and she was wearing a blouse she owned pulled out like a maternity blouse, even though it's meant to be tucked in. He said, "oh, I know what that means." She had made up her mind to have the child.

Her ex-boyfriend, the Jewish man Chaim, came to see her at this time and wished her well.

She had no peace at all except the peace to fall asleep.

Her choice to have the child was merely a moral obligation, but she had only fear for the outcome.

Then one day blood came spurting out. She realized it was a miscarriage. She had never thought of the possibility of a miscarriage, but now it was happening.

She tried to call Ron but no answer. She left a message. She spent a night in the hospital. The friend, Mike, from across the courtyard brought her.

The nurse said she was so special. She held her face and kept telling her how special she was for trying to have the child.

The nurse was like God's angel giving her accolades and praise. The doctor gave her a "D & C." Pain like she'd never felt.

The nurse said that the friend who brought her there was really great.

All of this was sad. Once Mare came back home she felt sad. Sarah had even beat her slightly one day, she was so fed up with Mare's misery, but later she felt totally sorry.

Sarah despised Rob, even though he had agreed to help with the child.

It took time, but with the realization that the nightmare was over, that it had been taken out of her hands, Mare was beginning to recognize God's love. God had taken the baby and the burden away.

There is depression with a miscarriage, but this was allayed quite a lot by the letter she received in the mail shortly thereafter.

The letter said that her elderly friend who had died left her five thousand dollars. It was more money than she had ever seen.

She had the money to go to Europe. She had the money to leave Los Angeles. She would be able to start over – start a new life, get away from this bad man.

With a little time and appreciation for what God had done, she was swirling in the swimming pool at the place where she was staying temporarily and rejoicing, realizing that God had set her free!

She had found a bible study group at this juncture, just before the miscarriage, who also supported her through this.

She took a trip all over Europe for three and a half glorious months, backpacking, staying in youth hostels, taking a train, and meeting people everywhere.

She was able to avoid any sexual encounters, concentrating on the banquet of culture Europe offered, and the friendship found on the way.

She was now a little wiser, and certainly a little more aware that God could do anything when there was a problem that seemed insurmountable.

In that brief opening there was a window to heaven. She still didn't know, understand or seek God, yet. But it was a step.





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