“Pro-Life for Me” originally appeared in the October issue of ‘The Well’ magazine.
October is one of the 40 days for Life months, so much literature and information will be devoted the saving of preborn lives. As an Obstetric nurse, who worked many, many nights in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit caring for the more stable babies while they learned how to feed and grow, I find this to be so admirable.
I want to write on another segment of the pro-life, that almost is never discussed. This issue is the “pro-life” issue of the treatment of handicapped children/adults in our society today; which is better than in the past, but still needs much work.
Since we are military, we have moved every couple of years and we have found that while people are *Nice* to us, they are not exactly welcoming to our family. Scores of people have not opened the door while we are attempting to attend Mass while I am pushing my children in their stroller; they now actively run from us while we are pushing our older son in his newest accoutrement (his wheelchair). Kindness could also be smiling at us instead of frowning with “Cruella de Ville” glances while our oldest is “stimming” on his books or toys. (Don’t worry; we remove him before it disrupts the reverent atmosphere). It could also be the fact that most priests won’t even entertain the notion of him receiving Holy Communion. Some have said that they would be willing to help us, but we have moved away before it could occur and another time, we had a therapist who was supposed to help us, and stopped showing up to help us. EVERYTHING one does with a child with autism takes twice as long and takes twice as much effort.
I am also talking about the occurrence of euthanizing handicapped children in Belgium, by their parents. There was also a “Dr Phil” show, where a mom wanted to euthanize her institutionalized daughter, because she didn’t think she had a good “quality” of life. The mother didn’t even try to learn anything about her daughter and the audience had a good guffaw telling her that she should do it. As the mother of a son who has little tangible skills, this is frightening to me and reminiscent of science fiction literature read in high school and college. I don’t think anyone has the right to “quantify” anybody else’s life. That’s God’s job and only God’s job. God has a specific plan for each and every one of us. God’s plan for my life was certainly not my plan, but I wouldn’t trade my boy for a different, “better “life. My son has taught me and are continually teaching me to be kind, to be faithful, to be generous, to be kind, to have charity, to have self-control (a big one for me, as I tend to be a yeller), and to have JOY in my life. It is only with Christ’s love and sacrifice on the Cross that I can have the fruits of the Spirit.
Pope Francis spoke in Cuba this past weekend to a crowd of sisters who serve the poor or “useless”; he told them “When we minister to the useless…, God is in the place where we meet the people the world sees as useless”. “If we want to find God, we will find him in service to the useless. That is where He is.” (Blessed are the useless blog by Simcha Fisher 22 Sept 2015 at 135pm on the National Catholic Register)
I know that taking care of our older son is hard. Being a mom is hard, period! But, as I glance into his sweet face, I have glimpses of him as a toddler and baby; I know that MY Cross is worth MY life, because in caring for him, I am caring for Jesus.
“Pro-Life For Me” contributed by Cari Tedesco.