The family had a large and boisterous Christmas lunch this year. Afterwards siblings, cousins and forebears sat around and chatted. A little group of fine young people found themselves discussing abortion. They did not approve but there were suggestions of circumstances which they thought could justify it.
At the edge of the conversation sat an elderly grandmother. And she began to speak. She told them how she was at home by herself one afternoon fifty years ago, when she realised that – at three months pregnant – she was miscarrying. By now she was talking through her tears. She showed them with gestures how she caught the baby. “What did you do then?” someone asked. “I baptised it”, she said.
Afterwards she wondered whether she should have introduced such a tragic note in a Christmas party. I told her that what she had said was the most powerful witness to life the young ones would have heard this Christmas – none of them would forget. That is what grannies are for.