A Letter to My Daughter's Mother

We are about to become grandmothers, you and I. I’ve already got my brag book and can’t wait to fill it with pictures. Any day now, I’ll get the phone call saying she’s on her way to the hospital. It won’t be long. I’m remembering the day of her wedding, when I wore the fancy dress and the big hat, and how I reveled in the role of Mother-of-the-Bride. And now, as the baby girl you gave birth to prepares to give birth, I am ready to embrace all the joys and privileges of being a grandmother.

And your bravery and love made all of this possible.

Her life, as you know, was not protected by the laws of this land. As in other dark days of this nation, and in history of the world, this child you carried held the status of a non-person. Our constitution, claimed seven justices, afforded her no right to be born. You alone held for her the choice of life or death.

You chose love.

You carried within you an eternal soul, an image-bearer of Almighty God who set his love on her before she was able to draw a single breath. You gave your body as shelter to hers as she formed and grew, and she is fearfully and wonderfully made. While it has taken me years to understand all of parenting as an act of loving and letting go, you learned this lesson before the wounds of childbirth had healed.

And I wonder if you know what a gift you have given to me and to this world.

We’ve never met, you and I, but I owe you so much. You gave me the gift of celebrating Mother’s Days and the privilege of placing bandages on scraped knees. Your choice allowed me to snuggle a sweet, smiling girl while reading a well-worn copy of Goodnight Moon. Because of you, I got to play tooth fairy and attend piano recitals. During her short season of adolescent angst, I tossed and turned and prayed my way through a couple of long nights. When she arrived safely on the other side, I gave glory to God for the beautiful young woman your daughter—our daughter—had become.

I wonder about you sometimes. I suspect you may have questioned whether or not you made the right decision, and if your daughter turned out okay. I pray you are at peace. She did.

She is strong and smart, compassionate and kind, and she has always been awfully good at figuring things out. Her father adores her, and she is most definitely her daddy’s little girl.  She finished college in three years in part, I think, because I cracked the whip pretty darned hard during the years I taught her at home. But meeting a young man who loves Jesus and loves her was, undoubtedly, an even more powerful motivator to finish. She is a fiercely loyal friend; when she loves people, she loves them well. Perhaps she inherited that from you.

We are about to become grandmothers, you and I, and none of this would be happening apart from you. I just wanted you to know that. And I needed to say thank you.

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