Another day of activism rises up before me. I’m about to go post-carding for three hours. I’ve got a stack of postcards in my hand and a print-out paper map of the area. Six years of post-secondary education and a year of being a home-body means I have exactly the level of fitness you would imagine. Having done this several times now you would think I’d be used to it, but instead my leg muscles are perpetually tight and uncomfortable. My feet get sore just thinking about post-carding. Yet, here I am. The van drives off. My partner heads across the street to start dropping truth in mailboxes. We’re told we can listen to music in one ear, but I usually leave my headphones off. That gives me a lot of time to think…
“Only three more hours to go. Woohoo!”
“I bet this is what walking the Camino feels like…”
“Just remember, you’re doing this for Joshua!”
“Why does every house have so many steps leading up to the door?”
“Oh man, clean your mailbox! I preferred Charlotte’s Web in book format.”
“There’s probably a spider in my hair…”
“Uh oh! Please don’t eat me, doggy.”
“I wonder who lives in this house.”
“Will they see the postcard and see abortion differently?”
“Do I even make a difference?”
Do I even make a difference? I’m sitting on the edge of the bathtub in my little bathroom with the door closed. My roommates are going about their day on the other side of that door, but they feel a world away. I’m alone, trapped in my head fighting for survival against disappointment, failure, loneliness, and a mountain of debt. I feel the razorblade putting pressure on my wrist. My heart hurts. If I do this, how long will it take to die, for someone to notice? Would I be a burden lifted? Would I go to Hell? Would I be a coward? I don’t want to be a coward. I want to be a lion. My thoughts churn quick as my rapid heartbeat. I sit unmoving. All. Is. Still.
Ten minutes… Twenty minutes… Thirty minutes.
It would be too messy. I pull the razorblade away and exit the bathroom.
“Don’t check the time. Don’t check the time. Don’t check the time.”
“Shoot! It’s only been an hour.”
“My feet are going to be nothing but stumps. They’ll call me stumpy toes.”
“What a cute mailbox! Makes me think of Disney.”
“There can be miracles, when you believe…”
“Prince of Egypt isn’t even Disney, dummy.”
“Aah! Angry Half-Naked Man didn’t want a post-card.”
“Never mess with Angry Half-Naked Man.”
“Why am I even doing this?”
“People just leaving their house. I’m gonna have to hand them the post-card.”
“Oh no! It’s a mother and her child!”
Oh no! It’s a mother and her child! I’m standing by the highway holding a large sign with the image of an aborted fetus on it. An Asian lady and a small 4 or 5-year-old boy got out of a car and are walking towards me. Is she angry that her child saw the picture? I awkwardly try to angle my sign away. They walk right in front of it! She points at the sign and says something in Chinese to the boy. Together they take in the image. She looks up at me and asks, “Do you know about the one child policy in China?” I nod and she continues: “This is my third child. He was supposed to be aborted.” I’m speechless as I behold her adorable little son and picture the world without him. The two of them walk around to every single sign my group is holding. I cry softly as the reality of abortion hits me. I understand why I have to do this: a mother and her child. Before they leave I shake hands with her boy and tell him I’m so glad I got to meet him. His name is Joshua. He was supposed to be aborted.
“Two and a half hours down. Saving babies one painful step at a time…”
“Another barky dog! That screen door better be tougher than it looks.”
“I am a lion! I am a lion! I am a lion!”
“Whoa, that garden is intense!”
“You know what else is intents? Camping. Hehe.”
“I wonder what my partner is thinking. I’m glad they’re here too.”
“Dinner tonight is gonna be lit fam.”
“Did I really just think that?”
“Yes! Townhouses! You get a post-card, and you, and you too! Postcards for everybody!”
“Aaaaaaand they each have 7 steps leading up to the mailbox…”
Remember Joshua? When I looked at Joshua something clicked inside of me and I inexplicably recognized his inherent value. Joshua matters. It’s the highest good that he wasn’t killed. And if Joshua matters then I guess I matter too. There must be a reason I shouldn’t die either. A friend of mine said that people first need to recognize their own value before they can recognize the value of a pre-born child. Sometimes it works the other way. Like all too many people my age, I spiralled into depression and suicidal thoughts after leaving post-secondary. All meaning was gone from my life and I could barely justify pulling myself out of bed. Recognizing the value of a pre-born child helped me recognize my own value. If I die there will be one less person fighting on behalf of pre-born children. And right now, they need saving. Maybe I can save them. Maybe I can even make a difference.