Little Things That Mean So Much

I just got back from meeting my husband for lunch. Usually, we can't do this, but today we could because he's taking the afternoon off to help his parents finish the move into their new house.

We went to Wendy's, and only questioned our wisdom once the food was in front of us. After all, Wendy's recently became a member of the Horror Story Food Club; nevertheless, we agreed that the poor woman who found the appendage is probably set for life.

Which thought begs the question: should I institute a salute of sorts for folks who go out for fast food? Something in the spirit of "break a leg" or "merde"? From now on, I think I'll say, "Hope you find a finger!"

OK, that was in REALLY bad taste.

Abrupt segue:

I spent the weekend thinking about things, noting the passage of Pope John Paul II with sadness. It is true that I am a follower of the Gods of the Grove, but I respected the Pope as a man who had examined his own convictions, and stood by them unwaveringly. I admired him for his great integrity, serenity, and strength.

He was a Lion of the Church. Rest in Peace, Father.

Otherwise, I minded The Bean while my husband helped his parents move into their new house. My Father-in-Law is still aphasic, and his right arm is still very weak. However, he is walking much better on his own. I have no trouble understanding him, and wasted only a few minutes directing anger toward those moral deficients among us who would argue that his life is probably no longer worth living. Deciding that I had better things to do at the moment, I followed my daughter outside to play.

Nothing clears the mind like digging in the dirt, which allows the natural flow of nature to carry your concerns away. I wasn't planting anything at this point so much as joining my daughter while she played in the sandbox with absolute glee. I watched her and watched my Father-in-Law, and thought about things.

I thought of all the things I'd like to accomplish in the short term -- like laundry, and planting a few trees in the back yard, and then I thought of things I'd like to accomplish in the long-term -- like advocating for the rights of the voiceless disabled, to mention only one thing.

My friend, David at Ripples once paid me a high compliment when he noted that I have a passion for justice. He's right. I know what's right and what's wrong, and whereas some would argue that I'm setting myself up for a lifetime of disappointment by fighting for fairness, I still cannot mutely sit by and apathetically allow events to unfold without somehow trying to shape them in favor of freedom and justice.

From experience, I know that activism is hard, unyielding and exhausting work, but the horrific and tragic case of Terri Schiavo cannot be allowed to happen again. In cases where we are not ABSOLUTELY sure of the patient's real wishes, we MUST err on the side of life, and obstructionist concrete types like Judges Greer and Whittemore must learn that even they are accountable.

Social change comes about by the Will of the People, for the People, is passed into legislation by Congress, and is upheld by the Courts.

Legislators and lawgivers will do well to remember that in the days and months ahead.

posted by Linda on April 4, 2005 08:02 PM

Civilization Calls? What the hell are you talking about. How about Christian Crazies for Bush or something. I feel sad that you call yourself a Christian - real Christians do not think that Christ was the son of, and the rest of the Christianity has strayed.

Posted by: ty at April 4, 2005 08:23 PM

Apparently ty cannot read. It is such a sad thing when I see someone unable to even comprehend words. If you were even remotely paying any attention, you would realize that Linda is not a christian. And look how quick ty rushes to judgement. And real christians don't believe Christ was the Son of God? Dude, what are you smoking?

Posted by: ethne at April 4, 2005 09:37 PM

Ethne...don't feed the troll. It's just some little 19 year-old fuckwad in Philly. Not worth anybody's time.

Posted by: Shawn at April 4, 2005 09:40 PM

I don't think it even read the post.

IP Banned.

Posted by: Linda at April 4, 2005 11:19 PM

Linda, We've missed you! Glad you had some time with your family. Nothing better than that. It is nice to just get out of the house and commune with nature. I've been thinking about what I can do to help so that there are no more Terri's out there that have to go through what she did. I am going to keep writing my legislators and Congressmen and let them know that I don't appreciate how the court system failed in this case. I am still studying Terri's case and I have found out a few more things. I'll email you and let you know. Lucy Stern

Posted by: Lucy Stern at April 5, 2005 12:28 AM

But it's fun to prod them into rages and apoplectic fits. It's so cute when the blood vessels start bursting in their wee noggins. :)

Oh, all right. Sorry Linda.

Posted by: ethne at April 5, 2005 02:45 PM

There are at least two sides to every story.

The Terry Schiavo case is an excellent example of what happens when you haven't left clear instructions for the unfortunate situation when your body is left as a non-sentient vegetable. Ruthless people on both sides saw their chance to "champion a cause" and make a name for themselves.

Most religions of the world recognize that a human being consists of body, mind, and spirit. Keeping body tissue alive after mind and spirit have departed can be considered a travesty, rather than a commendable act of grace. Most people, given a choice would opt for a natural death, rather than becoming an exhibit for medical science at work.

Her husband and her family are the losers in this sad drama. Neither will benefit from their association with prolonging her vegetative state or ending it.

Flogging this issue further is of little value. Preventing a future replay makes sense.

Posted by: David St Lawrence at April 5, 2005 10:42 PM

My friend, I would even go so far as to posit that Terri was also the loser in this scenario. She lost her life. There were 33 medical professionals who offered signed affidavits attesting that she was most likely not in PVS, and that she might improve with rehabilitation. If she was not PVS, then she was aware of externals.

It is possible that Michael Schiavo, George Felos, and George Greer and all the other death-eager witnesses were wrong. It is possible that Terri had not yet flown, and that she was "in there".


Starving her was wrong. I wouldn't starve a paralyzed dog. I wouldn't starve my worst enemy. Moreover, if starvation is so damned pleasant, why are we pouring billions of dollars into the Third World in order to stave it off?

There is a chance that people were wrong about Terri, and that she SUFFERED. The fact that she lingered for fourteen days after fluids and nutrition were cut off tells me that she was healthier than the MSM and Schiavo/Felos/Greer lead people to believe.

She wasn't terminal. She was brain damaged. She died from hunger and thirst. My own FIL is silent and brain-damaged from his stroke. But he's with us -- there's no doubt that he's with us, and we would give passionate battle to anyone who argues differently. Just because he can't talk to us anymore, does that mean that he should be abandoned?

This is what's keeping me awake at night: what if people were wrong? What if she really was "in there"? What if she suffered?

Since no one I would trust can assure me that she DID NOT suffer, than I choose to err on the side of believing that she did, and so I will fight to make sure that NEVER AGAIN will a voiceless human being have to go through what she went through.

I appreciate your sentiment: if someone is gone, then let them go. But how can you be sure? When is life over, especially when the organism still functions?

Where there's life, there's hope.

All I can do is take some small comfort that Terri is beyond the touch of mankind, forever.

I just hope that the Gods of Nature can forgive us all for allowing her to die like that.

As always, your affectionate friend,

Posted by: Linda at April 5, 2005 11:41 PM

Well said Linda. Deep down inside, I think Terri was there. All of her! Lucy

Posted by: Lucy Stern at April 6, 2005 05:20 AM