He Didn’t Ask to be Born


From birth, man carries the weight of gravity on his shoulders. He is bolted to earth. But man has only to sink beneath the surface and he is free.-Jacques Yves Cousteau

At the age of 20, my Adam Boy told me he didn’t ask to be born. I looked at him and was kind of shocked by what he said. If I’d said such a thing to my mother, I would have been slapped in the mouth. I’m not her, so I simply shook my head in agreement. Adam spoke matter of fact, and wasn’t being malicious or nasty. He hardly ever is. His wasn’t a planned pregnancy, but was a pleasant surprise. I didn’t know if I wanted him or not. Roger and I were still newlyweds, and Meg was only five months old. She was a wild and spirited child that robbed me of sleep, and my smile. How the hell was I going to have two children under the age of two? I was all of 23 when he was born.

The first six months after Adam’s birth were harrowing, in the postpartum depression coupled with exhaustion kind of way.  In my wildest dreams I never would have thought he would question his birth. But then I think back to how both he and Meggie were raised, and now I’m not surprised in the least bit. He’s a brilliant young man that studies philosophy, so of course he’d say what he did. I’m not shocked or hurt by it. I’m in awe of  him. I look at him with wide wonder, and ask myself how’d my boy get to be so smart?

I know my birth parents didn’t ask for me to be born. I was an unwanted pregnancy. If abortion had been legal, I might have become a wistful memory to my birth mother. Instead of a constant reminder of a life she couldn’t have, back in April of 1968. I was born to a single mother and my biological father was married to someone else. If you’ve spent any time reading my posts, you already know my story. No sense in boring you with the details, again.

What this post is about is the other children that didn’t ask to be born, but were. The friend that wonders how both of her parents could still be alive, but doesn’t feel cared for by them. And never has for that matter. No amount of love I give her will ever fill that void. It breaks my heart. I want nothing more than to blanket her in unconditional love and tell her she is my family. It doesn’t change the loneliness she feels.

What about my friend that I lost so many years ago to suicide? I’m sure he didn’t ask to be born with severe depression and no way out of it, but with a bullet to his brain.

I thought about him today on my way to work. I’m not sure why. Maybe it was the weather. I remember us sitting on a concrete bench outside of our high school. He’d given me a pink carnation and a bright smile. His arms enveloped me and he kissed me. It was such a pleasant surprise. I even remember what we were wearing. He was dressed in pin striped jeans and a button up shirt. I was wearing a peasant skirt and blouse with strappy high heels. I crossed my legs and leaned into him. Put my hand on his chest and kissed his soft lips again. We giggled at each other as we walked to our bus. I’m sure we sat together, but the memory gets fuzzy and I can’t recall.

And there’s my friend that’s been a martyr all her life. Did she ask to be the one that takes care of everyone instead of herself? She’s still trying to figure out that she’s worth more. She needs to be taken care of. I hope she finds the one that will, because she’ll take care of him.

I’m not sure where I’m going with this post. All I know is it feels good to be writing it. To be contemplative. Maybe even a little inspirational. Again.

None of asked to be born. Some of us probably wish we hadn’t been. What would be the fun in that though? Think of all the books we wouldn’t have read. The art we wouldn’t have seen. The music that we wouldn’t have listened to. The people we wouldn’t have met. The love we wouldn’t have experienced. The hurt. The anger. The elation. The bravery. The failures. The hate. The tears. The dread. The fear. The happiness. The strength. The weakness. The sex. The want. The need. The life!

Life! We would have missed out on life. That my dears, is why were born!

16 thoughts on “He Didn’t Ask to be Born

  1. Even though I’m an atheist one of my favourite writers is Neale Donald Walsch. What he says makes so much sense, and I feel is totally relevant to the topics in this post. Are you familiar with him?

    • Stu,

      I’m very sad to hear that you are an atheist. So many of my friends are though. I guess for me, I have to believe. There has to be something bigger than us out there. Guiding, loving, and helping us. I’m not familiar with Walsch, but I will be sure to google him.

      I’m no bible thumper, but I know God loves me. He believes in me too.

      Love, Renee

      • When I say atheist – I mean I don’t believe in a big wise guy in the sky! Is there something that we don’t understand, some force – totally. 🙂

      • Okay good. As Marcus Aurelius said, Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.

  2. Neither of my children were planned and I had to consider with each for different reasons whether I would carry on with the pregnancy I have actually discussed with my daughter the decision to keep her (strangely in my position she would not have kept herself if you get my meaning) I think you have to put faith in your own belief system that what ever power you believe is watching over you knows what is best for you I would never have chosen to have either of mine at the times I did but nor would I have chosen to lose the one I lost either, My mother makes a far more affectionate grandma than I can ever remember her being as a mum maybe the truth is there is always a bigger picture to view and we are not supposed t have al the answers

    • You’re absolutely right Paula. We’re not supposed to know all the answers. Isn’t that the beauty of life? It doesn’t mean that we’re ignorant. Maybe the answers will unfold as we get older and wiser. Maybe they won’t. I know that I was supposed to be Adam’s mother. I was supposed to Meggie’s mother too. Perhaps that’s why I was born. To be their mother.

  3. I was single when I got pregnant with my daughter in 1980. Even though he did not perform them, my doctor did give me the option of having an abortion. Even though I believe every woman has the right to have an abortion if she so chooses, I chose to keep my baby because at 6 weeks I had already formed a relationship with her & she was very much wanted. I’m glad I made the choice I did.

  4. Obviously, your son’s philosophical side came, at least partly, from you.
    Well put statements. I don’t remember ever wishing to not have been born. I do remember tell doctors, once, that I didn’t want to kill myself, I simply wish to have not been here. That’s all past now and I am happy to be here and so happy to have all of you as friends. Thank you, Dear, for always making me feel a bit special.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s