I have to admit being incredibly surprised when I got this entry. It's from a family member that I didn't think even knew my blog existed. Also, I'd never - EVER - heard him tell this story before. It honestly made me wonder how many other people close to me have been / are grappling with this pain.
His message is below. I edited it a bit so others who don't know him can follow the story better. I also removed names and identifying information so he could keep his identity private.
I'd also like to take this time to thank him again for sharing this, and for allowing me to share it with all of you. THANK YOU! You've moved me beyond words.
I read your most recent article last night. You have a great way of explaining the unexplainable and that's a nifty gift.
I feel compelled to write now because of your last article. It might seem strange to you because I am a man, father and grandfather.
Long ago in the days of walking to school uphill both ways in bare feet, I got my lady friend pregnant. We were young. Against my wishes, she chose to abort our child with a homemade concoction she learned from her mother. I pleaded with her not to do it and I did everything to keep her from drinking that sludge, but I failed and my baby never made it into this world breathing.
I'm married with two grown children now, three grandchildren and one on the way. Not a day goes by that I don't think of my angel baby. I failed her. I know she's with God, but she should have had a chance to be with me first. Her younger brothers (my two boys) never got to meet her. I believe she's been their guardian angel all these years. I wish they got a chance to play and grow together.
I can't help wondering if I missed my chance to walk her down the aisle. She would've been married by now and probably would have given me a few grandbabies. I'll never know them, my other kids will never know them, the other grandkids won't know them. An entire world has been closed off to us because of her mother's choice - and I had no say.
Men can feel this loss too. I feel it every day and I battle jealousy like you. My friends have all had their daddy's little girl. When my boys were in high school, I never got to participate in the father-daughter dances that others did. That was real hard on me because I believe my angel baby was my baby girl. And that Butterfly Kisses song they play at weddings is like a bayonet to my guts. I'm an old man and I cry every time I hear it.
I'll keep John in my prayers. You and Vincent, too. It is a very heavy load to carry around. Like you said it doesn't heal. But thank you for expressing what I never have. For men, this isn't a conversation you can have. Your outlet has become my outlet. I hope you continue to be blessed and I hope you continue to write out your thoughts like this. They are insightful and moving. I'm streaming tears with you.
My wife says to tell you she appreciates your comments. I had her read your article and she understands better how much I hurt sometimes. Almost want to send it to my kids, too.