Rose Mary’s Courage


In 1907, a woman named Rose Mary was found in a park in England with a chloroformed rag taped to her mouth. She had been raped by a man she knew, and she became pregnant.

I don’t know what was happening with women in her situation in England in 1907. She was unmarried and no doubt the recipient of shame and disapproval. But despite those hardships, Rose Mary carried and bore the child of a rape. She never married and never bore another child.

Her daughter was my husband’s grandmother. “Grandma-great” as we called her. She died in 2004, but I will never forget her smiles, lovely British accent, and wonderful sense of humor. How I wish I could have known her before the sharpness had left her mind and her will to live had faded. Grandma-great had two daughters. And her two daughters have both had large families, now filled with grandchildren and great-grandchildren. My fourth child shares a name with Grandma-great. I hope she and Rose Mary are pleased with that.

Of course it is a tragedy that Rose Mary was raped. But tragedies can develop into beautiful things, if we let them. And Rose Mary’s posterity is an extraordinarily beautiful thing. She gave me the love of my life, and he gave my my beautiful children.

Thank you, Rose Mary.

By Anonymous Contributor