Ten minutes away from the house was a hospital and the paramedics wanted to take her there. She had lost a lot of blood and they were concerned for her life. She was 33 years old and had three kids. The risk was too great. She did not care. “NO! NO! NO! You have to take me to Holy Name.”
“But it is too far. It is more than a half hour drive. Do you want to die?”
“I don’t give a damn. I’ll be fine. I want this child treated properly and if she is not going to make it I want her baptized.”
There was no concern for her own well being. At that very moment it was she and her unborn baby against the world and she was the only one who cared. If her child was going to die she would definitely have lived first. She would have existed. She was a person, God’s gift to a family and to the world no matter how supposedly insignificant. Her momma had her back. They relented and headed to Holy Name Hospital.
When the ambulance pulled into the emergency room entrance her husband was waiting and so was Father Murray, the priest from nearby Holy Trinity Catholic Church. As they removed the gurney from the ambulance the blood had soaked upward past her head and was already matted in her hair. The emergency room doctor looked and said, “Oh my God, get her upstairs stat. Let’s hurry.”
The baby girl did not make it. She was baptized by the priest and her mom survived despite a tremendous loss of blood. Some of the folks on staff were amazed that she had, in fact, made it.
This woman, who was also my wife, had an innate need to protect her unborn daughter. It did not matter how big this baby was. It did not matter if the child was three or five or six years old or still unborn. Her mom needed to protect her. It was not crazy or ridiculous or stupid what she did. It was heroic. She was willing to die for her child, born or unborn. She would have taken a bullet if that is what had been necessary. Nothing else mattered except saving her baby. That is love my friends. Plain and simple.
Theresa Mary Peterson was born on September 6, 1978. Theresa Mary Peterson died on September 6, 1978. On October 3, 1978, Theresa Mary, her remains in a tiny white casket, was transported by limousine to Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Valhalla, NY. She was interred with her grandparents. Her mother saved her because her mother was willing to die for her. Because of that heroic effort the world knows that Theresa Mary did exist even though she had only breathed for a few moments. There is no difference with time in God’s world. Everything takes place in the “eternal now”. One second, one day, 100 years–no difference. So, it does not matter how old she was.
As hundreds of thousands, (many of them young folks) participate in the March for Life today, we should remember that when they mention a number like 55,000,000 abortions over 40 years, it has taken one person at a time to reach that number. One person like Theresa Mary, whether smaller or bigger than she, but one person nonetheless. Finally,to all the moms (dads too) who have lost children through miscarriages, God bless you all. That was a true loss of a family member and “not for the best” as some might have suggested. You had every right to grieve. Losing a child is a terrible thing.