Selasa, 06 September 2005 00:00:00
The Story Of A Decision; To Not Abort - Sumbangan Kesaksian dari Ibu Peppita
What’s it like to have a clear path in the near future lay ahead of you yet what stands between you and that bright future is a form of life, whose continuous existence depends on your immediate decision ?
All you have to choose between, for the time being, is whether you favor to cut short the life growing process inside of you, or to nourish the one inside with love and healthy living.
As a last year university student (of the most prestigious catholic university in West Java), at the ‘wise’ age of 22 years old, I was given the chance to pursue my long life dream. To learn Spanish in a Spanish speaking country, with the possibility of working as a temporary local at my country’s embassy there, right after graduation. Then after a year or two, ready to roam Europe starting from Spain.
The timing was perfect, and that was just a once in a life time offer. Thus no stupid mind would let go such an opportunity. However, stupid as a young adult can be, less than a month after that great news was revealed to me, I myself have a different kind of grand news. On October 1996, I found out that I was pregnant. About 4-5 weeks. Unmarried with a still-looking-for-a-job 24 years old elementary school friend turned (just few months prior) boyfriend. With no plans to get married in the near nor far future to him. With enough saving to terminate what comes between me and my bright future, to secure my tomorrow from the shocking fact of today.
Frankly, all I wanted to do was to run from the fact. Nobody knew yet, not a friend nor even my boyfriend. My parents live on the other side of the island, happily thinking that in a year their daughter will go off catching her dream to roam a Spanish speaking country. So what better option to run away from the fact other than to eliminate the possibility that it ever existed, especially since the cost is my future?
But such denial does not stand quite long, for I finally decided to talk about it with some close friends and of course, with the young man who planted the seed. It was not easy to ‘come out’ however as normal human I needed someone to talk to about my being pregnant and be by my side as I face the world around me. It was to my surprise my close friends congratulated me and encouraged me to marry the father immediately (or any one else who is willing to fill in), as it was the custom in my country suppose an unmarried woman got pregnant. And I am forever grateful that neither friends condemned me (nor they supported my wrongdoings).
On the other hand, my boyfriend’s reaction was at first in such dismay that he even opted for abortion right away. He said that he was eager to take me to the doctor as soon as possible (he lived three hours drive from where I was living). However, sensing his doubtful voice, I told him to think deeply about that possibility and its consequences, for at least a week.
By weekend, he had changed his mind. An older friend of his never forgave himself for opting for abortion, especially since after 8 years of marriage to the girlfriend, not a child was born unto them. Upon hearing that, without hesitation, my boyfriend wanted the baby. No more argument needed, though he was uncertain about getting married. He even took me to the doctor immediately, but this one was to have a complete check on our baby. As I have confessed earlier to him that I had took some traditional herbal medicine in order to enhance my menstrual period, weeks ago.
It took me another week to gather up all my guts and ultimately told my parents that approximately in 7-8 months, they will have a grand-child. For a moment my mother thought she was hearing wrong. Then mother cried as she realizes the truth, while father called our pastor right after I hung up. They called me back right away and said that no matter what, they both love me very much, and please, not to abort the baby. Just stay calm (as her voice tremble) and wait for my father, who will travel immediately there to bring me home. Never mind about the boyfriend (who’s gotten back to his place), mom said, let him come to my hometown on his own free will, assuming he’s a man of his words.
Even if he decided to run from it, mom said, even better. Because my parents were more than willing to adopt my baby as their own, as our pastor suggested, enabling me to continue on with my study as soon as I give birth. For they prefer me not to be bothered with unplanned family life. As for me, I was torn between being an unwed mother yet will free to roam or becoming the wife of an unprepared man (though neither was I prepared). And definitely, what may lay in the future for me and my baby (nothing close to thinking whether Pro-Choice or Pro-Life, but more on Pro-Future, about what the future may lay for both of us).
Hence Christmas 1996 became the hardest Christmas we ever celebrated. Mom was crying most of the time, dad showed his best in accepting the given situation while I tried hard to remain strong and faithful. My sister (an active sophomore in High School) felt so burdened by the fact that her older sister is home and pregnant, yet not knowing what to answer to curious questions about whether she’ll get married or not. Relatives gave my parents their deepest sympathy as well as gave encouragements to keep on thinking positively considering me and my baby’s future.
My boyfriend finally came right after Christmas and we were married the following month. I postponed my study as well as terminated my entire ‘Spanish’ plan. No doubt that it has caused a total pain in many chests (and an unhealed wound even as today, just to think about it). Not a day went by without crying or having arguments, either between husband and wife or parents and children also among siblings and in-laws, as we all life under the same roof. Trying to behave like one big happy family in such short notice was never easy. Not to mention the tattling neighbors with their watchful eyes preying on even more misconducts (yes, I have sinned, nothing can change that, however this coming child’s more important to focus on rather than me feeling guilty all the time). Nevertheless, the show must go on.
Overall, in my case, I am very lucky to have loving caring acceptant parents who ensure me that they will not stranded me, along with a not at all condemning church. My relatives as well as the neighborhood I am living did not point fingers at me, though I understand should they have gossiped at my back. My boyfriend even showed his responsibilities by marrying me (despite the fact that we separated eventually in 2001 then was officially divorced in 2004) and his family gave their blessings too.
That was about 9 years ago. Yet looking back, I still regret the mistake I have did along with the once-in-a-lifetime chance I have tossed away, though I never regretted my decision to keep my baby. And I am very much thankful to God for my son. As well as forever thankful to God for the support of my loving caring parents and sister, my church congregations, plus my close relatives and friends.By Peppita Poerwowidagdo
Surabaya, May 30, 2005
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