A March for Life

 

Last year on January 19,  I made the decision to participate in the Atlanta March for Life.

I made the decision based upon two reasons:  1. In response to the Women’s Marches of 2017, I wanted my boys see a demonstration of peace, humility and love where people of all ages and orientations stood for choosing life.  2. In response to my own history as a formally pro choice woman, I wanted to stand publicly for the unborn.

In the Women’s Marches of 2017, we heard Ashley Judd say, “But yah, I am a nasty woman?! A loud vulgar, proud woman.”

In the March for Life, we saw women and men walking in prayer and humility to remind the people of Atlanta that life and babies are a precious gift from God.

There is nothing proud about joining a march with several hundred people walking in protest against the 53 million abortions that have occurred since 1973.  Many of the marching women had had abortions themselves and were walking as a testimony against it.   The day we walked, January 19, 2018, it was sunny and 45 degrees in Atlanta.  Snow and ice had only recently lost its grip on the city and people were beginning to move about. The streets were still grey with salt and gravel.

I called Father Tom Alessandroni earlier that morning and asked if he would join us.  He said yes and we picked him up and made our way downtown to the capitol.  As the quiet demonstrators gathered, speeches and testimonies were given by pastors and abortion survivors and life enthusiasts.  Prayers were said over the event and over our country. Father Tom’s presence at the event was noticeably welcome and several men and women came to speak with him and ask him about which church he was from and about his cassock.

After an hour of speeches, the march began. It began in silence and there was a somberness of those in attendance.  Many people held signs with statements like:  Unborn Lives Matter or We Love Babies.  What struck me was the diversity of those marching.  I saw women and men of various races and colors and ages all gathered to support the unborn. There was no shouting or profanity.  No one was pointing fingers or accusing others of evil or hate.  There were no vulgar signs. It was just a peaceful demonstration by people with one thing in common: life.

The one mile march took us right through the streets of down town Atlanta. Banners bearing the image of Martin Luther King attached to lamp posts greeted us as we strolled past the gold dome of the capitol, silently past the enormous Coca Cola sign and through the campus of Georgia State.  Within 30 minutes it was over.

I wanted to share with you these images from our day.  It was chilly and uncomfortable standing in the concrete park at the foot of the capitol, waiting for the walk to begin.  I’m glad we made the effort to be a part of this life-movement.

By participating, I wanted our boys to see that there is a way to protest and demonstrate without vulgarity, profanity or judgment.  I wanted them to see that there is a time to stand up, even when it is not vogue or cool or when people are cursing you for doing it.  “You’ve got to stand up for your own narrative,” I told them.  “If you don’t, somebody else will choose the narrative for you.”

 

 

 

A Christmas StayCation: Sights from the Atlanta Beltline

What do you do when you get a new portable GO camera, a new deck cover for your scooter and a new tire for your BMX bike?  Well, you go to the Atlanta Beltline at Old Fourth Ward to test it all out.  

This year, we decided to stay put for Christmas and just enjoy the twelve days of break and feasting right here in our home metro area.  Everybody was burned out from school and all the days of preparation leading up to Christmas Day.  So, on December 26, we slept in and then cruised down to the Atlanta Beltline.  Now, if you haven’t heard about this uber-cool urban corridor connecting multiple neighborhoods, parks, and shopping districts, you need to check this out.   Ultimately, according to Beltline.org, the Atlanta Beltline will include 33 miles of interconnected trails and parks throughout the inner Atlanta area.  My favorite fact about the Beltline is that it grew out of a master’s thesis from a Georgia Tech student who saw miles of underutilized rail trails and blighted areas in the city that could be redeveloped for pedestrian use and passive green space.  We are so glad for the creativity!  Now we have a fun place to play on holidays and weekends. 

The day after Christmas, we started our adventure at the Historic Fourth Ward Skate Park.  Parking was free and the skate park was crowded with kids from 1 to 91, riding sundry wheeled platforms and bikes, playing on the playground and enjoying the brief sunshine on the green.  A quick walk south took us under a colorful graffiti-painted overpass to the Krog Street Market where we took a bathroom break and looked around at the various eateries.   A quick walk north took us past more street art, dozens of street walkers, a brewery and then to Ponce City Market.  The Ponce was booming!  As I glanced around, I saw grandmothers visiting from somewhere up north and children clutching new toys and 20-somethings meeting for a drink with old friends. It was such a vibrant scene. 

At some point, we took the cattle elevator to the roof top to view the out door ice skating rink and the arcade.  What surprised us all was the amazing view of the Atlanta Skyline!  The pollution decided to clear a bit on this late afternoon and we captured a nice view of the not too distant city against a muted winter sky.  

As we arrived back at the truck, everyone said they were glad for a non-shopping day and a time to test their new “toys” on the Beltline trail.