Western North Carolina Woman

Now and Angel
by ryan jo summers

To a scared fifteen year old, it seemed like an answer to a problem I had not asked for. Looking back years later as a Christian, it seemed like God’s way of fixing a mistake that should not have happened.

Perhaps it was more of a blessing.

Beginning when I was around the age of eight, my father started to abuse my mother and I in every way possible; emotionally, sexually, verbally and spiritually. Illness took over his mind and he taught my older brother to be the same way. Years were rough for my mother and I but she hung in there and taught me to be a survivor in the process. As inevitable as it was, at age fifteen, I became pregnant with my father’s baby.

Too scared to say anything, I waited, wondering. Thousands of thoughts went through my mind in the few months I carried life inside me.  It would not be long until my secret started becoming obvious to others.

Then one morning, staring at the bright blood and shapeless mass, I thought my problem was over. When I soon became sick, I blamed it on a summer flu to fend off questions I did not want to answer. Eventually I recovered physically from the miscarriage. Life continued as normal for the next two years. Yet in many ways life had never been the same since that fateful summer morning.

Over the years, I have often thought back to those few months in my life. What if I had carried the baby to term? Somehow I just felt inside that the lost child was a girl. In the inner core of my conscious, I knew this to be true.

What would I have named her had she lived? Love? Faith? Hope? Glory?  Joy?  There was not much of this in my life at that time.

How about Jinx? Stormie? Or Tempest? This seemed more appropriate to the time period.

What would she look like? What features of mine would she have? What features of my father’s would she carry through life? What about her personality and character?

Most of all, would I keep her to raise and love? Or would I have surrendered her to adoption as my birth mother had done to me years ago?

So many questions, now the answers will never matter. But still the possibilities haunted me.

Most of all, what happened to her that fateful summer morning? I could not shake the concept, all these years later, that she had lived those months and died that morning. A life snuffed out--for better or for worse.  So what happened to unborn babies when they never had the chance to enter this world? As my Christian faith grew, I secretly sought an answer to this question--always wondering.

Whenever I heard of young babies or toddlers passing away prematurely, I always wondered what happened once they left this world. Most of all I wondered for the ones not yet born.

Then one day when I was in my early thirties, I found the answer to those biggest questions that had plagued me for almost twenty years.  While on vacation, I was daydreaming on a sunny summer afternoon. My thoughts drifted back to her and that dark time. The same old questions resurfaced. Biting my lip, I stared up into the clouds, pushing back the tears of injustice. For her, my mother and myself.

I asked God the same burning questions that haunted me. Why was she ever conceived? What happened to her? Why did mom and I have to endure such treatment for so long? What was His purpose to such loss and suffering?

Then I saw something moving up in the clouds. Fuzzy at first, it looked like a baby. It caught my attention, stealing my breath as it came closer and took shape before my eyes.

Gasping, I saw a young girl, in her late teens, coming to me. She was lovely, a beautiful smile, dark hair and dark brown eyes and flawless complexion. She halted a short ways off and smiled warmly at me, waiting.

Realization dawned on me slowly.  This was my daughter, the baby I miscarried when I was a teen. Except she was all grown up, the age she would be had she been born and lived.

‘It’s all right. I’m happy here.’  The words pushed through my mind, settling over me. She did not speak but I heard her words in my mind. ‘Let it go. Live your life. We will meet later.’

Slowly, she faded away, her words echoing in my mind, her image burning itself in my memory and heart.

I have not seen her since but I have learned a lot since her visit that summer day.

With her gracious message, I have learned the gift of forgiveness to the man that created her through my torment. Though he died when she would have been two, and I suspect she watches over him now as she watches over me, I was able to forgive him for years of everything.  When I lost my beloved mother I knew my daughter was waiting to usher her grandmother into eternity. I like to think Mom finally got her girlie girl instead of the tomboy she had with me. I know for sure when I pass over, she and Mom will be waiting to greet me.

And I know unborn babies go to the Lord’s home and grow and life happy lives. I still don’t know at what age they stop growing but I know it’s all part of God’s perfect plan when they reach their age of maturity in Heaven.

Now when I hear of little ones dying way too early or miscarriages, I think maybe my daughter is jumping up and saying, “Sure, God, I’d love to baby-sit this little munchkin for a while!”.

I still cannot explain how God can take a fetus, hardly formed, and turn it into a beautiful young lady. But that is just one more mystery of the awesome power of our Lord.

Most of all I learned that while it does not matter what I would have named her here on earth, I do know now she is an angel. And what mother would not want her baby girl to grow up to be an angel in God’s eyes?

I have images in my mind of my little girl growing up in Heaven, skipping rope on streets of gold, climbing on Jesus’ knee for a story and being loved so very much. I thank my Heavenly Father for raising my daughter for me. I am sure He did a perfect job. And I suspect she and Grandma are having a great time together, all part of God’s wondrous plan. Who says there are no angels?  For a short time I was privileged enough to carry one.


Ryan Jo Summers lives and works in WNC. While a traumatic childhood is always difficult to put in the past, she has made great steps in going forward. Domestic situations remain near to her heart and she seeks ways to make a difference to those in similar situations now.


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