I am assuming she must have done something very bad. However, for a brief moment that we made eye contact as two mothers, it didn’t matter.
While sitting in the waiting room at the hospital on the day my first grandchild was born, I noticed what appeared to be a number of uniformed officers asking for permission to go back and forth through the locked area to Labor/Delivery. I didn’t give it much thought why security seemed to be so tight that day in a safe place where new life is welcomed into this world.
Looking over at the door each time it would beep, to see if my son-in-law was there to proudly announce the birth of our grandson, it took a minute to register the surreal scene that was playing out before us.
An ashen-faced young woman was being pushed out in a wheelchair by one of those big burly uniformed officers and surrounded by at least three other men dressed like prison guards. Still in a hospital gown with flip-flops and shackled at the ankles, it was clear to me, she had just given birth to a baby.
For a brief moment, this prisoner and I made eye contact. It wasn’t a look to kill but rather one of such hopelessness in her sad eyes. As a mother with daughters of my own, I knew even for that quick second she was feeling a tremendous loss from her poor choices. She could have committed the most heinous of crimes that would make me wonder how we could ever forgive evilness, but what I saw that day was a human being … a mother who had just given birth to her own child.
I will pray each year on my precious grandson’s birth not only for him but that this young woman was able to turn her life around and be a mother to her child. If not, I hope that her baby will be able to see one day like I did — a human being — despite her flaws.