Unicorns in our Family
My grandson Andrew had a dramatic entry into this life. My daughter Valentina became pregnant with him at 15 and was desperate for an abortion. But Andrew was equally desperate for Valentina to be his mother – and so the drama.
Date: 1/10/2012 5:06:07 PM ( 23 mon ) ... viewed 601 times
In my late teens it had been my ambition that, just once during my lifetime, I would be used as an instrument to save another person's life. My ambition was fulfilled with Andrew, although I had never dreamed that the life I would save would be that of my own grandson.
Valentina marshalled her teachers, our family friends, a social worker and the public solicitor for the protection of minors to work on me and get me to sign the abortion clinic's consent form. Not signing was the one thing that stood between Andrew and death, since we lived in Tenerife where the law requires parental consent when the mother is a minor.
Our closest friend tried to reassure me that the tiny foetus was only a blob of jelly, and not yet a human being. And Valentina's class teacher urged me that if I continued to hold out against her I risked losing not only my grandson but my daughter too, since Valentina had been plunged into a depression close to suicide.
There was one weekend at the height of the crisis when I had to resist going into her room every ten minutes to see if she was still alive.
Meanwhile, Valentina invited me to go with her to a scheduled routine ultrasound scan. As we set off home afterwards by taxi, she pleaded with me for what seemed like the umpteenth time to allow the abortion: "Look Mum, the foetus only measures four centimetres". And I replied, trying not to hurt her feelings, "Yes Val, but that four centimetres has a whole universe inside it".
I was referring to what I had seen on the doctor's ultrasound screen: in the centre, a tiny beating heart, sending out small shock waves to the edge of the screen. The heart was like the centre of a universe, expanding and contracting as the universe breathed in and out; the whole universe that was my grandson was there on the screen. It looked sacred to me as it pulsated.
Back at home, my head said yes to the abortion: "no logical reason to stand in Valentina's way". But a small voice in my abdomen exercised the veto by saying "no". Nevertheless, I estimated that the foetus had only a 5% chance of ever being born, since Valentina was so desperate that she contemplated self-aborting by taking a medication she had been prescribed previously to bring on her periods.
With that medication sitting within reach of Valentina's hands behind the closed door of her room, panicking for her safety I rang her father for help at the family home in the U.K. And it was he who delivered the saving grace which turned the situation around and set it on a safe course.
He got me to pass the telephone receiver to Valentina and his emotional voice, travelling along 2,000 miles of fibre optic cable, coaxed her with infinite wisdom just to let things ride until the moment in the gestation period when the abortion would be now or never.
Valentina told me shortly after speaking to her father that she had decided not to resort to the medication because her doctor had warned her that if the self-abortion failed and she ended up having the baby it might be damaged.
And so the height of the crisis passed. And what happened after that, was that nothing happened. Except that Baby grew a little each day. I used to sneak surreptitious peeks at Valentina's growing tummy, proud of her lion-like courage at resisting hurting herself or the baby.
And the 5% chance of Baby's survival climbed slowly higher and higher until a new greeting on Valentina's Messenger betrayed her mounting excitement: "10 weeks to go!"
From time to time during Val's pregnancy there had been mornings when I "remembered" visiting "heaven" during the night to attend planning meetings for Andrew's incarnation on earth. They were conducted by a council of elders who were helping guide him safely over the jagged rocks that threatened to terminate his life while still in the womb.
I was told that when he was born he would bring with him not one, but three guardian angels. Apparently, when Andrew had sent out a call from the womb for a guardian angel to volunteer to join him for his coming lifetime, he had been answered by three of them. He didn't have the heart to turn down any of them, so it was arranged that he would have all three for his whole life.
It quickly became apparent after Andrew was born that he and Valentina were made for one another: "He's a pretty baby". "He's so cute". And she has never looked back.
And Andrew and I effectively bonded into a "team of two" as we set off together in search of adventure. He was just the companion I needed to go exploring by mountain bike – only in the familiar pedestrian precincts of our city, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, but we could and did imagine ourselves as intrepid explorers in darkest Africa!
At two months of age, as soon as he could face forward in the sling on my chest we would go for slow bike rides as far as we liked. His face was a picture of wonderment at the new sensation of a jasmine and magnolia scented breeze stroking his cheeks and ruffling his hair.
When he grew into a toddler, we would chill out together in the afternoon in the shallow pool on the terrace, heated to tropical lagoon warmth by the hot midday sun.
One day, as I stepped out onto the terrace there was a full sized white feather lying in the middle of the doorway. I had read that a white feather is the calling card of a unicorn, and I felt that my new "companions" were a male and female pair.
Andrew now had his own child seat on the bike, and I invited the unicorns to accompany us on our rides. And so the male would trot in front of the bike and the female behind, giving us protection. When we were waiting at the roadside to cross, drivers would slow down and stop for us as if they could see our full troupe of two humans and two unicorns and felt moved to show us a gesture of courtesy.
Some months later, Andrew and I were chilling out in the pool when what should float down into the water between us but a small downy white feather. I understood from it that the female unicorn had given birth to a foal and that this foal would be a lifetime companion for Andrew, his "animal talisman" as the indigenous peoples say.
Andrew is now five and I believe his unicorn foal must have grown into a colt. However, the white feather which we found in the rocks on the beach the other day was only small, as if left by a newborn foal. It is as if "Baby" unicorn wanted us to recognize that the feather was from him rather than his parents.
My adult unicorns are with me for life (for no other reason than to oblige me since that is what I want!)... for life and beyond, since my favourite daydream is to pre-enact my transition from earth to heaven (though I choose that it will be many years hence!).
In the daydream I am riding Father unicorn while Mother trots at our side. My guardian angel, Bookie (how he got that name is a story in itself), with his magnificent turquoise and Wedgwood blue "wings" (at least that's what they look like) is overlighting me, floating right at my back as he has done throughout my life.
As we ride into heaven everyone there who has done something for me in my life just ended is waiting to greet me at my request, so that I can thank them straight away, one by one. The part of the daydream which changes is that I dream up a different and very extravagant costume for myself to wear each time. That's the fun part! Whoever said "dying" was fearful? *Smile*
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