Souls No Longer Known
By Grace Taylor
My name is Grace; I was born to a beautiful interracial couple, African American and Mexican, in southern California during the late nineties. My father’s name is Derek and my mother, Teresa. They were married a few years before giving birth to me. When I was born my three brothers were already in the world. Gairett is six years older than me, and Seth and Shem are almost two years older than me. After I was born my parents decided to not have any more children for the obvious reason of myself being the jackpot child. The family was complete; my parents were fairly young, but committed to raising my brothers and me to the best of their abilities. Soon after my birth, my family relocated from sunny California to the random state of Ohio. We lived in Akron and maintained there for about six years. My memories of Ohio are rather faint, but filled with joy. It was a time of genuine childhood freedom where my brothers and I made memories of playing in the snow without a single care or concern. Once that season passed, we found ourselves back in southern California.
There I grew up in a Christian home and in the public school system, subjected to two different ways of thinking. I witnessed things and sat in on many conversations completely opposed to my faith-filled upbringing. At times, I gave these surroundings the power to bend my personal beliefs. Even if ever so slightly, my views began to alter. I became soft and even kind to things I hadn’t agreed with before. Sin didn’t bother me as it should with me knowing the long term effects. I didn’t recognize life as an act of God by grace anymore. My mind rejected the thought of all life being precious. Somehow, I gradually saw life as a man-made thing in the sense of man being authoritative over it enough to start it or end it.
That all changed the day I sat with my brothers in a room full of buttons, knobs, and televisions
My parents are traveling musicians and were for just about my entire childhood. During an interview they gave their hearts poured out with the difficult truth. The television screens informed us that we had four siblings that passed on before us.
Like the four of us sitting alive and well in that room now.
Tears counted my many confused thoughts. I couldn’t wrap my mind around the fact that my living brothers should not have been my only siblings. Even worse, that I would never know those people on this earth.
Four of my siblings were aborted. My family actually consisted of ten people, not six; my parents gave life to eight children, not four. Those souls can no longer be known in this life-time. That is more than a sad story or a relishing of the past; it calls for self-analysis, for gratefulness. My life could have been deemed unworthy and carried away without much thought if only created a few years prior.
I understand how many view abortion as a personal choice and not a definite wrong, but I beg to differ. Small, unseen lives matter as much as the grown, visible ones. My parents are deeply despaired by their past partaking of this act. They’ve gone through post-abortive classes and mourned their decisions, but the sting of the stain doesn’t just go away. They will carry this for the rest of their lives.
I’m sure that wasn’t the way they planned to share this with my brothers and me, but honestly there would have been no good way or time to address this. It is, and always will be, painful. My parents showed a great deal of strength in protecting us from the harshness and I commend them for that. I commend them even more for removing the veil from their eyes and choosing life for their last four children. My brother Gairett, my twin brothers Seth and Shem, and I would not be here today if it wasn’t for their recognition of our human right to be valued.
Grace E. Taylor was the author of this piece.
Originally published at narrative.voicesforthevoiceless.org.