Monday, June 29, 2009

A Life Worth Living

I can't tell you how many times someone has said to me, "I'd rather be dead than like..." someone like my son. Of course, they said this before I or they were aware of his disease, so they meant no offense (other than the offensiveness of the statement itself). By now some of those people have no doubt heard the diagnosis. I wonder if they will recall those words and feel a little flutter of shame or guilt or some unnameable emotion when we see each other again.

Some will not even remember. A few will be so embarrassed they'll probably let the acquaintance drop. It's human nature. I can see that. One maybe two will be repeating themselves on the issue, wishing death on themselves (and by logical extension on my son) and they will feel themselves very compassionate. They will, of course, be careful not to extend such brute compassion into the path of this mother. They were duly and politely informed where I stood on the issue long before it became personal.

This subject shall be taboo. Yet here I go, writing again. I'm the type to poke at a wound. I want to feel if there's fever in it. Is there something festering that needs to come out? There is so much under the surface.

I read books, the web pages, the parent forums and the fear is palpable. What if my son/daughter never becomes productive? What then? What if nothing we do ever fixes this? What will you people do to my baby after I'm gone? It's a valid fear after all: in the secular world a person's worth is measured by their utility. The Nazis' "useless eaters" idea was not a new one nor was it vanquished by their defeat.

Overall I find my reading depressing. So many of the experts and self-appointed experts are adamantly insisting on one treatment or another. The tone is so strident you can hear the underlying harmonics of "Please believe! If you believe, then I'll know I'm believing in the right thing." There is safety in numbers, after all.

But I'm not in that crowd. After my initial round of emotions I realized my autistic son was still my son with all his same traits, the lovable ones as well as the obnoxious. After all, nothing fundamentally changed with the diagnosis. What I mean is this: autism is merely a label for what we had already seen. It comes as a confirmation and revelation rather than as a thief in the night.

I can only imagine how my life would have been turned upside down if his diagnosis had been something along the lines of a terminal brain tumor. From one moment to the next, the world would have been completely different. The worst would have happened and nothing would have been the same again.

Autism? It might not be curable. It might not be pleasant all the time, but we have our boy. He's exactly who he is and exactly who we love.

And it isn't fatal. At least it isn't now: unless those with the philosophy that some lives aren't worth living get carried away again.

Related posts:

Friday, June 19, 2009


Today you have said it for the first time. "Mommy." I am so proud of you, my big guy, my little man.

You give me so much more than words. You have taught me how ungrateful I have been. I became a mother, expecting so much. Each child's voice was music I knew I would hear as a matter of course.

Then God said, "Not yet. Not now. Wait."

For close to four years I have waited for you. I have longed for you to come out to play. Oh, my sweet boy, my love for you is so wrapped up in all the things I wait for.

Thank you for letting me see.

You are my blessing, like each breath, each moment, and day from each child is a blessing.

You show me how beautiful it is to be a Mommy. You show me what a gift each word, look, and sigh is. You amaze me.

I thank God for you, such a gift! I could not know this without you, my son!
Related Posts:

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Not Buying

Debates are getting heated. Normally reasonable people are saying things that'd make a Nazi blush, (left or right, you choose). Shows continue to pit opposing views against each other, the louder the better. Sometimes its like watching pit bulls go at it. Enough already.

It is not because some people support peace and Islam that a man gunned down Army recruiters in Arkansas. It is not because some people want to end abortion or reign in the power of judges that a man killed a doctor in his church.

Can we stop sensationalizing everything in order to make a point? There're wives, children, family, and friends wrapped around those murders. It isn't just a headline: it's real hurt.

If anyone is responsible for these tragedies, it is the culture that has created demons out of anyone who disagrees with us. The media is responsible for selling all the shouting and barking, and we are responsible for buying it.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Yes, Really: Still Pro-Life

In the wake of a terrible murder committed by a madman, let me take a moment to explain what Pro-Life means. In it's most simplest form, it means you, the reader, are important. You don't need to do anything to earn that importance. It is inherent. This dignity does not come from the government under which you live. It is a part of you from the moment you became one of us. It's encoded, like your DNA.

To God, you are no more important than my son, no less important than the President. I don't have to love, like, admire, or even stand you for you to maintain your human status.

Let me give you a hypothetical to demonstrate:

  • I am driving down a narrow road and my brakes give out. You and my much loved dog are in the road. If I drive a straight line, I will kill both you and the dog. If I veer left I'll hit the dog. If I veer right I'll hit you. I have to choose. Verdict: You live.

  • Let me explain my Pro-Life position a bit further. I love my dog. I don't even know you. Even as a stranger, you are more important to me than my dog. Again: You live.

  • Let's muddy the waters. You are an evil person and I know it somehow. Do I sacrifice my dog to save you still? Even still: You live.

I will say that it would be harder in that last hypothetical to choose to do the right thing. My emotions will war with my reason, but my emotions are not the deciding factor. Let me explain that statement with a real life situation: I do not support the Death Penalty. Even a heinous murderer has a right to live and a right to the chance of repentance. Only God knows the state of another's soul. My emotions viscerally disagree. They want a different justice, immediate and human. I will rephrase my stance to be more clear: I will not support the Death Penalty. It is a willful and conscious choice.

A human being has value to God and to other human beings. Even when they do not live up to our expectations or our needs or even our laws. Sadly history and our present is full of examples of persons being dehumanized in order to subdue, enslave, or rid ourselves of the burden of each other.

So why did that man kill that doctor? My best guess would be that he forgot a few things: that Pro-Life means more than Anti-Abortion, that "Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord," and that Dr. Tiller was human and one of us.

So, even if the man who committed the murder believed that the man he killed was a heinous human being, it doesn't really matter. It is a condemnable act. I condemn the act. So does every Pro-Life person I've discussed this with. So does every legitimate Pro-Life organization out there. You will not see this murderer lauded as a hero to the cause or the incident glossed over. It is denounced. Officially and completely.

May God rest Dr. Tiller's soul and be with his family in their time of grief.

Some notes:

It has been 10 years since the last lunatic bombed an abortion clinic or murdered an abortionist. According to Wikipedia , since the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, nine people have been murdered by those calling themselves "Pro-Life" Those injured and killed by Pro-Choice extremists do not have a corresponding Wikipedia page. Here is a link to those statistics