Tuesday, September 02, 2008


Upland Sandpiper

A Lesson from a Missing Nest

The past few years, I have seen and watched some sandpipers that live in my apartment complex area. Last summer, and earlier this summer, one built a nest in the spotted rocks along the side of our building, routinely doing their best to protect their nest by running out ahead of any passerby, even feigning injury if necessary to prevent anyone from disturbing their nest. This year was no different, as a nest was "built" once again in the same spot as last year.

Then came a time when, bravely, mother or father bird sat very very still as we walked by, not moving even an eye or feather.

Then, I came home from work one morning to see two spots on the sidewalk just by the nest, and no familiar parent bird sitting there...as I drew closer, I realized that the 'spots' were actually the contents of those two eggs, smashed on the cement.


By whom? Do sandpipers toss out their own eggs? The management? Another apartment dweller here in my building? Kids in the complex? An animal? I have no idea. All I do know is when I left for work, everything was intact, with Mommy or Daddy bird on guard. When I came home ten hours later, they were gone.

For the rest of this summer, I have not gone by that spot without seeing, still, the impact of where that nest HAD been, and a residue on the sidewalk of the eggs from that nest. I have also not seen any trace of that sandpiper or its mate. And I have often thought about writing about this as my own thoughts flowed to the impact on life of two aborted sandpipers.

But my thoughts go further than just two sandpipers and their babies...

Just as I have noticed and missed the birds, and even 'lightly' grieved this, I cannot help but remember other babies that were with us one minute...and gone the next...by choice. People think that a 'personal decision' made by one person should not be any concern of anyone else. Yet, everything in life affects others around us. Everything, no matter how much we'd like to pretend that it doesn't.

Long ago, as the diagnosis of alcoholism hit our family, we were told that every alcoholic affects at a minimum, four people. In reality, that is a very low figure. Each of us comes into contact with many more than four people in our lives. Our spouse, our children, our extended families, our friends, our coworkers, and mere acquaintances that we happen to meet over the course of our lives. We touch each of those lives for good or for bad.

When a baby is on the way, in some cases, few may know, and the act of abortion is thought to wipe out any ramifications that life may have had on others, simply because one--or two--or three have 'chosen' to abort it before its existence can be known by others. Perhaps to 'protect' the unwed mother from 'suffering the consequences of an unwanted pregnancy'.

But that mother remembers. The father of that baby remembers (perhaps not having had any choice in the matter, or ... having urged or even forced the abortion on the mother of his child)... the grandparents may remember if they had been told of the baby's existence...friends will remember...

and each, like me as I pass that nest will have moments of wondering "why?", "what would things be like had that baby been born?"...

Abortion is not a personal matter.
It leaves many victims in its wake.

God bless!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well stated. This is the life of almost all Americans. Everyone knows someone with anyone of those problems or as I like to call it "Life Happens". Hiding an abortion does not make it go away. Remember Fast times at Ridgemont High? Watch that movie again and see what was like for someone going to a public high school in the 1980's. That is what was going on everywhere in America, big and small towns. Pro-life means, we choose life over any inconvenience. Pro-choice "chooses" when life will begin or end for their means to an end. Just because no one sees it, does not mean it is not happening. Growing up in a small town in AK, lots of divorce in the 1970s and 1980s, lots of abortions, lots of drugs, alcohol, that was life in a secular society. Nothing is new under the sun.......That is middle class and all classes of society. Some hide it others let it happen and deal with it.... Meg

Tuesday, September 2, 2008 at 2:43:00 PM CDT  
Blogger WICatholic said...

Thanks, Meg.

I have been thinking a lot this summer of how those two eggs from those two birds in that one nest ... can show a truth about life itself.

I have been thinking of some members of my own circle of life who had abortions, or were forced to know that their baby was aborted...and the changes that action caused in all of our lives.

The missing persons...unspoken of, but 'there' at the most poignant times. The eggshells that so many times have to be walked on gently so as to not add pain or discomfort to another, never knowing what one may say that will hurt, or impact that person.

It affects everything, for the rest of our lives.

Two birds, one nest, two eggs...and the 'substance' smashed on the sidewalk. In life, as people, it is often the root cause of a lot of substance abuse... two people, one baby no longer living...by choice.

So sad.

I'll have to look into that movie. I don't think I ever saw it.

God bless!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008 at 4:04:00 PM CDT  

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