January is known to pro-life people across the country as “Sanctity of Life” month and we remembered Roe v. Wade on Sanctity of Life Sunday, Jan 17, 2016. This post is a story shared with one of our staff. It is a story of loss. You may have your own story and know others who’ve been personally touched by abortion. Every story is different. Each hurt, deeply felt. Each life changed. Children never born, are still remembered.

As we share their stories, in their own words, they may shock you. Their circumstances may be totally different from yours. Even so  – they live among us. They are our friends, our family, our colleagues and classmates.  We hope that reading their stories encourages healing, hope and determination to speak truth into dark places, to love those who are hurting and to commit ourselves to extend a hand or listening ear.

First published in 2012, this is CJ’s story. (used with permission).

Happy Birthday To My Children I Didn’t Get To Meet

CJHallock PicHad is a powerful word. I had a job. I had this. I had that. You hear it a lot but my “rant” tonight is this… I had children.

Some of what I’m about to share here, I’ve never told anyone before. But, after years have passed I feel I need to start letting go of some things that are hindering who I am.
(I am going to not mention names in this simply to be nice…fyi)

At 21 years old I was serving in the United States Navy and was stationed in Norfolk, Va. I was dating a girl who was 24. She was beautiful, funny and simply everything a guy would look for, so I thought. After about 4 months of dating (and keeping it a secret for the time being because she was an officer) , one day she just disappeared. I tried calling, emailing and event went by her house. She had moved!

Almost 2 months went by and out of the blue, my phone rang. It was her.  After finding out she had simply moved into a house across the street from her old house and simply keeping small talk, there was a lengthy period of awkward silence.  I knew she wanted to say something but I didn’t have a clue what it was.  She had found out she was pregnant and in thinking about what was best for her career she told me she decided to have an abortion.  I was young and honestly it didn’t truly hit me until a few hours later.

Long story short, I was crushed but because of her being an officer I had to keep quiet about the situation in fear of getting in trouble with my superior officers.  I kept that to myself and every year on May 30th (her estimated due date) I stop and look up to the skys and wonder what kind of child I would have had.

I’ve been listening to Happy Birthday by Flipsyde just thinking about it.  Thought now is as good as time as any to just let some stuff out…

Then, about 3 years later I was in a relationship with a woman who had 3 kids already.  I remember that phone call just like it was yesterday.  “CJ, before I say anything, sit down” (looking back on that now … I have to laugh cause she truly did know me! lol) “We’re Pregnant!” … I was beyond happy at that point! I couldn’t have been a happier man!  After about 2 1/2 months, she woke up one morning with extreme pains in her side.  I had stayed home and watched the kids as one of her friends went with her to the ER.   After waiting all morning for her to return, she did… but with bad news… She had lost the baby.  This had happened 2 other times after that, the last was right after we had broke up.

Then one of my last (serious) relationships was a shocker.  After just over a year of being together, we had called off our relationship.  I was prepared and more than ready to move on at this point but almost  2 years after we had split I had found out that she found out the night after I had moved out that she was pregnant.  It was De-ja-vu … She didn’t think it was good timing or who knows what she was thinking but she had decided to abort her pregnancy.

So in my eyes I was a father to 5.  I “HAD” Children…  Keyword… HAD!

Ladies, let me just say, not all men are the heartless and gutless creatures you think we are!

I remember the countless sad hours that have passed of me sitting down and doing nothing but staring off into space thinking about it.  There isn’t a day that has gone by where I haven’t sat and thought about the possible family I’m missing out on and wondering if I will see them again one day and if I do, if I’ll recognize them. I never got to see their faces but, I do love them!

Think about what you have and enjoy everything! Even the things that seem bad!  In my bad days I think about their smiling faces and what they would’ve looked like and instantly puts a smile on my face! So smile! You could’ve not, been born!

Since all this stemmed from my thoughts in listening to “Happy Birthday” from Flypside … I thought I’d share the song and let you see where my head is at…

CJ Hallock is a small business owner. He and his wife live in northeast Tennessee. (Follow him: @CJHallock).