“Always”- a Pro-Life Essay by Peter Stockton, first-place winner in senior category of Pro-Life Essay Contest


Why am I pro-life?

As I was growing up, my mom would lovingly share the story of my birth. Being two months premature, I came into this world barking, instead of crying, because my lungs had not fully developed. Because of this, I was immediately taken to the NICU.  Pleading to see her baby, my Mom visited me minutes after the emergency C-section. As I squirmed in the glass cradle, she whispered my name.  As soon as she spoke, I turned my head toward her and stopped barking. I must have known.  She was my mother. The songs she sang me, the words she cooed to me, the prayers she spoke over me before birth as I was cradled inside her, I had heard them and I knew her voice. Even as a baby, I knew I was important and that I was someone’s child. No matter how small I was, I was valuable.

I learned that I was not the only one made in this special way. Over the summer of 2015, I worked as a volunteer at Camp Blessing—a summer camp for mentally and physically disabled kids. This camp forever changed the way I look at life.  When I first arrived, I believed that I would make a difference in the life of a camper. However, I did not realize how much my camper would personally impact me. Ashton quickly befriended me, not the other way around. Initially, I saw only his disability of Down Syndrome.  But, as I got to know him, I didn’t even see that anymore; I just viewed him as my friend.  His identity was not found in his “doing”, instead his value was just in him “being” – being who God made him to be.  No matter how capable, Ashton was valuable.

With a step of hesitation and a gentle smile, I approached the senior and asked, “Would you like to be my grandparent?”  Several families started a club at the local nursing home where each resident would be paired up with a child. Mine was Helen Corke. When I first met Helen, I noticed she was different than the other residents; she was lively, loving, and adventurous.  She told how she traveled to Texas in a covered wagon in 1912, her nursing career in World War 2, her troubles and her triumphs.  The stories were amazing, but it was her joy that mesmerized me. No matter what her situation, she was always singing — even at the age of 101. Although she could have complained about her wheelchair and her living situation, she instead chose to show God’s love to me through her attitude. I got to share this treasure when I spoke at her funeral.  Her impact on others and on me never ended. No matter her age, Helen was valuable.

These people, these stories, these beautiful reasons – this is why I am pro-life. No matter the season or situation of life, we are always valuable to Him.