Telling my parents, religion & India

Telling my parents I am pregnant is kind of a big deal.  They are church going Catholic’s and my worry is that if for any reason the doctors told me not to proceed with the pregnancy I am not sure how they would feel about this.

The funny thing was the previous week when I was visiting with them they were telling me about a documentary they had watched on China and ther now two child policy and how women in their late forties were now all rushing to have another child, they laughed at this, thinking it so absurd.

I didn’t even know where to begin to start the conversation, but whilst my mother was relating her latest bowel woes I just kind of butted in and said “speaking of health problems, I’m pregnant!”

Their reaction was unexpected to say the least, but then I am kind of getting used to unusual reactions at the moment.  They were excited, a baby for Christmas, Yay! They congratulated me wholeheartedly and wanted to tell the world right at that very minute!  Twilight Zone… again!

I am not so sure about telling the world. I mean I am blogging but nobody I knows reads blogs and if they did I think they would have to be pretty lucky to put two and two together.  I have asked them for some time before spreading the news, time to get over the miscarriage period, I am 13 weeks and 6 days today, so a few more weeks would be good, also time for the doctors to be sure everything is fine with me.  My blood pressure was a little low at my last visit, 80/60, but I am now drinking 3 liters of water a day and moving around more frequently and not just when I purposefully exercise twice a day, so hopefully that will improve with these changes.

My parents surprised me by agreeing the doctors need to put me first and if need be and my life was going to be at risk then a termination would be necessary.  I guess with age comes insight in all respects.

I was raised a Catholic, I am not an unbeliever, I am just not an active believer.  My husband is of Jewish descent and we both respect all religions and everybody’s right to choose how they live their lives.  As a history major I have studied many terrible atrocities done in the name of religion.  I like to believe that if a person is good and kind and compassionate and makes an honest contribution to their community then regardless of denomination they are getting into heaven.

When my kids were 14, 3 & nearly 2 we all travelled around India for 4 months.  I guess this is where I truly had great personal insight into how selfish religions can be.  Being Catholic I was indoctrinated to believe that anybody who did not confess their sins would not be getting into heaven, and that I should pray for those people of religious denominations such as Hindi, Moslem, and Buddhist, as these mid-guided people were surely not able to get into heaven unless that changed there errant ways.  How can it be that a good and just God would disregard whole continents of billions of people just because where they were raised saw them learn their own traditional religious practices. There is nothing more reverent than hearing the evening call to prayer whilst at the Taj Mahal and watching the sun set behind that incredibly beautiful piece of architecture. Whilst we travelled we met Sikh, Hindi and Moslem followers, some of whom were the absolute nicest people I have ever met in my life and would have given me the shirt off their back if I needed it, even though they had few possessions.  Such honest smiles I have never encountered, only in the faces of children.  As we in the Western world age we seem to become more guarded and disingenuous, we stop opening our hearts when we smile at people.  But as yet, at that time, this was not apparent in the many Indian societies we witnessed.  We were welcomed with open arms every where we went, their was no suspicion, and my children, with their golden blonde locks were a source of constant awe for the locals, as not many Western people take their young children to India.  This is probably because everybody has heard of Deli-Belly,  but we all ate a vegetarian diet whilst there and not one of us got even the slightest upset tummy, in fact I never felt healthier.

India was an eye opening experience for us all.  It is a beautiful country with so many people and sensorial experiences that it is hard to comprehend, and when you leave the crowded and bustling cities and head into the countryside the immediate appreciation of space and peace is phenomenal. When we visited India ten years ago the cities were just beginning to see the emergence of wealthy middle classes; more kids are in school, accommodation vastly improving and abundant technology, with it seems every man, woman and child constantly talking on at least one cell phone! Western society is also having a major impact too and it was a little shocking to see many over weight children lining up to go to KFC and McDonalds after school.  But the poverty is still very evident and there are millions of children with no phone and no money for McDonalds.  My eldest son was greatly affected by how these poor children live, there is no schooling, no shoes, little clean water obviously because they were all in need of a good bath, but these children who are often playing in the gutter on the side of the road are smiling and laughing, the stones they play with active in their imagination as some other spectacular toy, to see this pure joy coming from absolutely nothing is an experience I recommend to everyone and is the reason my son decided to study medicine, to do good, to be in a position to help others.  Some of the children are beggars, we were told the beggars are professionals, usually orphans sent out to work for some organized group. These children are not so happy and I wanted to bring them inside the taxi and bring them home to our very obviously privileged home.  We may not have millions of dollars in the bank but where we live no one goes hungry, health care and education is free, there is very little pollution and for that we are truly blessed, but no more deserving of heaven than those wonderful people from that supposed dark continent.




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