This is my story of survivor sibling grief. May it be an encouragement to others… I will never forget the day that I learned I had lost a sibling to abortion. The day was such a jolt that it literally changed my life in ways that I am still trying to comprehend. Often people say, “It’s just tissue. Just a few minutes at the clinic and you’ll have your life back.” But the loss of a life extends beyond that clinic and reaches across decades in my case. A little background…1975 found me as a Protestant sophomore at a Catholic girls school in Illinois. At the time, Catholics were the only ones giving the “battle cry” for LIFE in the abortion fight. My parents had put me at this school due to very fragile race relations in the public schools at the time. I had never heard of the abortion issue prior to arriving at this school. The school was located just ten blocks or so from the Illinois State Capital. As a huge vote loomed in the Illinois Legislature, the nuns decided to walk us single file (700 high school girls in our uniforms) to the Capital’s rotunda and do a silent protest for the unborn. Every legislator had to pass 700 girls that morning as they entered the Capital that day. The nuns had given us each bracelets that we were not to remove until Roe vs Wade was removed from our land. We stood in silence with our bracelets held out as the law makers passed us. Not a word was spoken but the message was loud. I feel the activist gene in my spirit was launched that day because the day’s events were far from over for me. When I arrived home, my mother was standing at the stove cooking two large frying pans of chicken and my father was at the sink. This might sound like trivial details but what followed next is seared in my memory. Turning to greet me, my mother noticed the bracelet on my wrist. She asked about it and I triumphantly held it up and said, “This? This bracelet is going to be on my wrist until abortion is outlawed in America!” At that point, my mother threw done the fork she was turning the chicken with, grabbed her face, screamed, and ran upstairs crying to her room. In a flash, my father strode across the kitchen, yanked the bracelet off my wrist and told me I was never to speak “that” word again. It didn’t take Sherlock Holmes to know I’d touched a huge, painful secret in our family. My home grew silent except for the sobs of my mother coming from my parents’ room. I climbed up the stairs and went to my room, in shock over the change of events from elation at my new found activism to the stunning realization that abortion had touched my family. Being somewhat of a snoop, I knew that there would be some sort of medical receipt or paper trail to prove this horrible news. In minutes I found where my mother had stashed a manila envelope in the top of my bedroom’s armoire – after all snoops don’t look in their own bedrooms for stuff. Opening the envelope from a Kansas City clinic, I read the doctor’s three month old letter to my mother, stating that the four month male fetus’ abortion had gone smoothly, but should she need psychological care, that could be arranged. The paper sat in my hands while my mother’s sobs continued down the hallway. Suddenly, an anger swept over me! I grabbed the envelope and opened the door to my mother’s room. I said, “Why did you kill my brother! WHY?” She stared at me and then replied, “Your father is almost 40 and didn’t want to start again raising a child.” The answer stunned me. In moments I had lost a sibling and now I had lost respect for my father, a respected businessman and Godly man. I hated him. I instantly hated him. He and my mother had killed their only son. I only spoke to him about three more times in my life. Shortly after that confrontation, my father filed for divorce. He would remain “the man who killed my brother” until 22 years after his death! In 2012, my mother died. About two weeks after her death, my stepmother met with me and told me the “rest of the story.” My father had not been the baby’s father. He had written a letter to my mother and begged her not to kill the baby of this adulterous affair. He offered to raise the child as his own, but my mother wanted no part of raising another man’s child, especially one that would be born looking very different from our blonde hair and blue eyes. My father had written that if she proceeded to kill this baby, that it would in turn kill our family. His words were prophetic with the divorce papers being filed shortly after the revelation to me. My mother had chosen to kill her child out of pride, out of fear that her sin of adultery would be revealed to all. In choosing to cover a wrong by committing another wrong, she had in turn, killed her family. I would like to say that it stopped there, but another relative told me that three year after the divorce, my mother had visited her family’s farm and been very emotional. Taking a walk, she didn’t return for many, many hours. Relatives found her late that night in a corn field, crying in the fetal position, as she told them of another recent abortion. So, here I am at age 54, confronted with grief for not one, but two siblings. They would be 39 and 35 now. I would have nieces and nephews probably. My own four children would have loud family reunions with first cousins. I would have a sense of family, but my family – not just my siblings – was aborted. I realize now that my mother had deep emotional scars. I realize now that God can bring peace to any situation. He truly provides peace that passes all understanding. I have had to forgive myself for the misplaced hatred I had for my father as I believed my mother’s lies. I have had to forgive my mother for taking not one, but two precious individuals from our family. And I have had to forgive posthumously as both my parents are gone now. Forgiveness is key to releasing God’s power in my own life. “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” I know those babies are in God’s presence. I look to the day in Heaven when my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will introduce to my two precious siblings. Until that day, I will continue to speak for the unborn, to give a voice to sibling survivor grief, and proclaim the healing power of my God. “We overcome by the Blood of the Lamb, the word of our testimony, and we love not our lives unto the death.” Revelation 12:18….To triumph in this life, I had to apply the Blood of the Lamb to my sins, I have to share my testimony. It is given freely this day to help someone else who has lost siblings to abortion. God knows your grief and desires to make you whole again…. My name is Jan and I have a welcoming committee in Heaven!