On August 4th, 2014, I found out I was pregnant. My first reaction was fear and I immediately thought to get an abortion (something I was ALWAYS against). On August 7th, 2014, I decided to meet up with my friend Chloe Arenas at Sweet! for some frozen yogurt and cupcakes. I hadn’t seen her in a while because she was always so busy with school, works, and just her day to day life, but she made time that day to see me and we sat outside to catch up on life. While we were catching up, there was a silent moment and I just blurted out, “I’m pregnant”. Chloe just looked at me and was like, “What?” with a combination of a smile and a shocked look on her face. As we proceeded to talk about it, I told her that I was planning to get an abortion because I couldn’t have the baby in the circumstances I was in and I also didn’t want to disappoint my father. She looked at me and said, “Don’t do it. You’ll regret it for the rest of your life.” I continued to give her all the reasons why I couldn’t go through with the pregnancy and as she looked at me and listened, she told me that everything would work itself out. She told me that she wasn’t going to tell me what to do because in the end it was my decision, but she really thought that I shouldn’t do it.
A couple of days later after meeting with Chloe, I made an appointment to go through with the abortion because I just couldn’t bear the thought of bringing my child into a hectic lifestyle, disappointing my life, and having to put my life on hold (which were all very selfish reasons to want to get rid of a baby). I remember I told Chloe about it and she said, “Is this really what you want?” (not in a judgmental way, but in a concerned way) and she continued to give me reasons as to why I shouldn’t worry. One of the things she said was that God was going to align everything and everything was going to work out. At that moment in my life, I had strayed away from my relationship with God, but when she said that, deep in my heart, I knew she was right, but I was still fearful. By that point, the people that knew about my pregnancy said that they would support me through whatever decision I made, nobody voiced that I shouldn’t have the abortion besides Chloe. I remember that I went to the clinic and sat there and all I could remember was “God was going to align everything”. I went through all the process that they do, the sonogram, checking of my blood, and etc. When the time came to go through with the rest of the process, I felt that conviction in my heart, but I also knew that as soon as I said I changed my mind, there was going to be a sense of peace. So, I changed my mind. As soon as I called Chloe to tell her, she was so excited and overjoyed and talked about how she couldn’t wait to meet the baby and spoil the baby and how she was so happy for us. She reiterated that we shouldn’t worry because God was going to provide everything we needed. She was right. God provided and He did so in abundance.
On April 14, 2015, Selena Christine Pagán was born. Chloe was a big influence in that crucial moment of my life and God used her to steer me in the right direction. Unfortunately, Chloe Nicole Arenas passed away two months after Selena was born. The last time I got to see her in person was one night that she visited my church. We had kept saying that we needed to meet up so that she could meet Selena, but she had a lot going on at the time and wasn’t able to. She got to see her through SnapChat (thank God for technology) and pictures that I would send her, but she didn’t get to hold her. I think about it and it makes me really sad because she was such a big reason Selena is here today.
So, I wanted to honor her on the day of Selena’s first birthday.
Today is Selena’s first birthday and the fact that she’s here is because of God’s grace and because He used you to convict me in the time that I needed it the most. I wanted to thank you. Thank you for not being a “yes” friend and for standing up to what was right. Thank you for not conforming to the patterns of the world in that moment and standing up against abortion. You had your reasons and that literally saved my life. You were 100% right, I would’ve regretted my decision if I would’ve gone through with it. Selena has been the best gift that God could’ve given me. I will forever be grateful to you. Everything worked out, just like you said. God definitely spoke through you that day at Sweet!. Chris and I got married legally before the baby, you already knew that, but on November 15th, 2015, we got married before God. It was bittersweet definitely because I wasn’t able to share that moment with you, but I had a representation of you on my bouquet.
I miss you every day. I remember your constant laughter and your silliness and it always makes me smile. It breaks my heart that you didn’t get to meet Selena in person. You would have a blast with her. She is so silly! There are things she does that remind me of you. She definitely has a way of making everybody laugh. She’s brought so much joy into everyone’s life. I pray that she has a heart like yours. A heart to love others, a heart to serve others, a heart to forgive others, and a heart to bring joy and laughter to others because that’s who you were. You were always there to help everyone, you were always with a smile on your face, you always saw the good in things, you had a heart for adventure, and you had a heart for people. I wish Selena could grow up around you, but she will definitely hear stories about you. No matter what, you will always be her Titi Chloe in heaven.
One of the last things you said to me was that you were so proud that I made the right decision in keeping Selena. I’m proud of you for saying, “Don’t do it”, when you could’ve easily said, “sure, do what you feel”. Your friendship was God’s gift to me. I couldn’t not be any more grateful to God for placing you in my life in the right time. You brought me so much happiness and laughter just being around you and from the looks of it, Selena got that same trait as her Titi Chloe. I love you forever. Until we meet again in heaven, you’ll always be in my heart.
Chloe loved elephants, so for Selena’s first birthday pictures, I decided that I wanted a representation of her.
Photo Taken by: Mandy Finley Photography