As I enter this world, I know that I am so very blessed. My life will be one of worth. As hard as people fought to see me take my first breath, they will fight for my life to be one of dignity and worth. I am protected in a world that is pro-life – or so I thought.
My mother was raped, but the law did not recognize this violent act as rape because she became pregnant with me. The law only recognizes legitimate rape as one that does not result in pregnancy. I entered the world amidst controversy. I was named Magdalene Rose. Magdalene because of the shroud of controversy that surrounded her – the false accusations of prostitution, the stigma that history assigned to her, and the hope of those who have tried to reclaim her as the first witness to the resurrection, a faithful disciple, and devoted minister. Rose was chosen for the flower that can bloom even in the face of adversity; one that can push through the snow to reach the sun and spread its petals.
My mother is a single mom She does the best she can – trying to keep us clothed and fed. She works so much and I stay many nights with my grandmother or a neighbor. She seems so tired, so worried, but yet always has a smile to share with me. I am her blessing, a miracle born out of darkness.
We go to church every Sunday, but strangely, no one will sit by us. We have to sit in the back. I wonder why. Certainly our clothes are a little worn – we rely on hand-me-downs and the thrift shop. My mother dresses me in the finest dresses she can find, I feel so special. In God’s house, we are shunned. People refuse to shake our hand even during the sign of peace. This is the place where we should be welcomed. This is where they proclaim the Gospel and teachings of Jesus. Yet, the only sign of Jesus that seems to exist in this community is symbolized on the cross.
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