Skip to comments.Death in Springtime: Terri Schiavo and Pope John Paul II
Posted on 04/02/2011 4:00:15 PM PDT by NYer
It was the first day of spring in 2005. I was at the florist in the seaside village where I grew up, assembling a basket of flowering spring plants for my sister, who had just given birth.
Immersing my hands in budding greenery, inhaling the earthy scents—it helped to chase away, for a few moments, the looming death which occupied my mind. Later that evening, watching my sister's pink newborn suck on his tiny fists, I smiled; it was a welcome break from the tragedy that was flooding the airwaves, and leaving me feeling panicked.
Terri Schindler Schiavo was being dehydrated to death in Florida, and I took it very personally.
The non-stop talk about Schiavo, and the almost blithe way her life was being reduced to what she could "do"—as though her value as a human being hinged upon her utility—had meaning in my life.
I have been blessed to be the mother of three daughters. Christina, the youngest, has Down syndrome, and the pundits and "experts" who were judging Terri's fitness for survival based on her motor and communication skills were hitting a nerve. My three-year-old wasn't speaking yet, had just learned to walk, and potty training seemed a far-off dream.
Deep in my heart, I feared that if laws were on the books demanding that we qualify for medical treatment based on our abilities, then Christina would not fare well. I was already aware that 92% of mothers whose babies were pre-natally diagnosed with Down syndrome chose to abort their baby, out of fear that children like Christina would present too much of a burden. What would happen, I wondered, if she needed a feeding tube in her later years, and her father and I weren't around to advocate for her? Would some "well-intentioned" nurse decide to do her a favor by ending her life?
Schiavo had her family by her side, yet they were helpless to give her even one drop of water, though the flowers in the vase next to her bed had plenty, to keep them fresh and alive. Would that, I wondered, be our situation someday?
I fought pain in my stomach as I listened to Sean Hannity report from Schiavo's hospice in Florida. What was a woman my age doing in a hospice, anyway? Until her husband had won a battle to remove her feeding tube, Terri Schiavo had not been dying. After his victory, though, even an act of Congress wasn't enough to save her life. What chance would I have of saving Christina's life against a society which devalues the weaker members?
My husband, Francisco, and I had just been through the trauma of fighting for our daughter's life inside a hospital. The previous winter, Christina had been hospitalized with double pneumonia, and, to our dismay, the nurses were nonchalant about her treatment. She wouldn't take an oxygen mask, so I requested a tent, only to be told, "we don't do that anymore."
Francisco and I took turns holding a breathing tube to her mouth around the clock for a week. When the oxygen alarm went off, no one came to check on her until we called them. We brought in friends to pray with us through the nights and keep us awake, so we could monitor Christina's breathing. They were chased out by an angry head nurse who said she "was tired of parents like you wanting special treatment." We shuddered at that and wondered to ourselves whether the staff wanted our daughter to die.
Today is the 6th anniversary of Pope John Paul II's death. May his prayers guide us to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
I will never forget the terrible death Terri was forced to suffer by her “husband,” or the agony he put her family through.
If they wanted it then, when it was only a matter of a little bump to the bottom line of some corporation, and a perk or a bonus or an accolade for a diabolical head nurse; they need it now, when it will be made a mandate of federal law to balance a federal budget for which medical care is a cost center.
Terri's story had been in the news for a few weeks when it made the headlines of our newspaper. I took the opportunity to throw out the curriculum and spent the entire day discussing it with my students. Years later, they still occasionally tell me they remember that day in class. However, one little know-it-all snot nosed whiny who despised me (feeling is mutual to this day) decided that day to write his own little pro-death anti-Terri editorial in the school paper. I'm pleased to say, it wasn't well received and there was backlash.
Prayers for Terri, her family, and all the others who met the same fate.
I am still sick to my stomach about how Terry was murdered.
What happened to her should NEVER be repeated.
The author of that article is co-founder of a group called KIDS- Keep Infants with Down Syndrome.... encouraging women who have fetus’ diagnosed with DS to not abort.
I didn’t realize that Terry Schiavo died right before I miscarried in ‘05.... around the time that I learned that another woman on a pregnancy website that we both visited had terminated her pregnancy because she found out her baby had DS. How hard that was for me that my baby was taken from me, and she willingly killed hers because it was not “perfect”... a baby I would have received with arms wide open...
I will tell you what really upset me.
I was at the vigil just a few days before Terri died (I live in Florida, but in a different part of the state). The BISHOP of her diocese had forbidden priests to assist her, so the only priests were those from out of state or outside the diocese, and they were thin on the ground. In fact, there were virtually no defenders of Terri.
There were more news media representatives than there were people trying to support Terri. One of them interviewed me and I swear she was embarrassed by the fact that they had set up huge tents along the side of what was expected to be a massive protest...and there were more of them than of us.
JPII bears a lot of responsibility for tolerating the worst of the worst among bishops. Lynch was known as Bishop Speedo because of his fondness for photographing young men in Speedos, including one of his administrators, who sued him for sexual harrassment and got an out of court settlement; in addition, he was actually moved to St Pete’s because he had gotten involved in a financial scandal in Miami. Sadly, BXVI has left him in place.
A fish rots from the head, and until these rotten bishops are gone, the Church in America will never be healed. But no Pope has the courage to remove them.
I didn’t know that. So sad that the Church, that so steadfastly stood for righteousness for so long in so many instances, wasn’t able to protect someone so innocent. :(
For me, that confirms that Pope John Paul II was the Pope of the Third Part of the Secret of Fatima (the one that Blessed Jacinto talked about Poor Holy Father).
That means the cause for Sister Lucy must have been opened (for her Canonization/Beatification/Veneration or could have been opened).
Sister Lucy of Fatima is the third person to die early in 2005...
I think BXVI is appointing better bishops, and I guess traditionally popes don’t interfere with sitting bishops, primarily because of fear of schism. But I wish we would get rid of these horrible bishops.
Many of the “boy bishops,” radical lefties such as Cdl Mahony who were very young when they were appointed under Paul VI, are aging out. But they’ve done a lot of damage, and there are a few of this crop that still have another 5-10 years.
And this is not only in the US. Ireland’s big problem was not its priests, but its bishops, who were either corrupt themselves or permitted corruption, and yet were tolerated for decades. Fortunately, it seems as if BXVI got at least one of them to resign after the latest round of scandals.
But there are many others who should be given their walking papers.
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